Random Lazy Summer Thoughts

July 27, 2012

July has simply exuded heat and busyness and more heat and laziness and hotness and more busyness. And that is probably one of the most boring sentences you have ever read. But that just kind of exemplifies the month–not much happening in the middle of lots of activity in the midst of sweat. One exciting event that the whole month has hovered around is the big move for daughter Amy, her husband Chris and baby Charlie from small apartment to their very own house with a yard. Bret and I have been making two trips to Lexington each week to help with the packing, cleaning and baby bouncing. The glorious day has finally arrived and they will be spending their first night in their new home in Wilmore, just outside of Lexington, tonight. What a joy it has been to be able to help out with this major milestone in their lives. Spending more time with little Charlie has been an extra bonus!

The constant heat has slowed my brain down to a crawl. Not a stinkin’ deep or profound thought is coming to me. I haven’t even had any more goofy kitchen mishaps to relate in this sacred space. The only item of any possible interest concerns an odd little topic that is near and dear to my pitter pattering heart, but perhaps not to many others who might happen upon this bloggy swamp of randomness.

I was reading my devotionals the other day and a verse from Acts 17 and its accompanying study note grabbed me by the collarbone and shook me. Paul was making a speech in Athens. He referred to all the altars and statues to their various gods that he saw as he walked through the city. One was inscribed with the phrase, “To An Unknown God.” Paul used this as a jumping off point to share with the Greeks who this unknown God was, namely the creator of the universe who had come to live among us in the form of a man, Jesus, who died and then rose from the dead. In the midst of this discourse, Paul quoted a couple of their own Greek poets (verse 28) in works where they were extolling the virtues of Zeus. I had read this passage many times before, but for some reason on this particular morning, it really struck me between the eyes that if Paul could quote these lines from poetry, he must have READ the poetry. The study note mentioned two other places where Paul quoted lines from Greek literature, one from a Greek play in 1 Corinthians 15:33 and one from another poem in Titus 1:12. Obviously Paul, a former Jewish Pharisee who lived his life by the laws of the Pentateuch was a well-read man. All of a sudden I thought, “If a legalistic Jew saw nothing wrong with reading a wide variety of secular literature and then as a converted God-loving Christ-follower he quoted it in order to assimilate into the culture of the people he was trying to reach, then maybe it is fine and dandy that I like to read great works of literature that aren’t necessarily Christian in nature!”

This made me very happy. I have indulged in a decades long discussion with myself about this very topic. Sometimes depression has set in as I listened to other Christians talk about secular literature, music and activities as something that committed Christians should avoid. Some of it I would agree with, but I’ve never felt that all secular creative works should be shunned just because the author isn’t a Christian or because the themes of the works are not all about God. I happen to find God in everything I read and experience, even if it is anti-God. Reading or listening to the opposite of what I think and believe forces me to study my beliefs more and in the end strengthens them. So I have decided that I will mark this little frustration off my list and move forward in the joy God has placed within me! He made me this way, so I think that means He has a reason for it. Yippee!

Thank you for listening and I hope you too are living life as the person God created you to be!