13. Punk'd, God style
I’m thinking about that movie, Deep Blue Sea (I think that was the title) – the movie with the smart sharks (ugh). Overall a pretty lame movie but it did have that one scene where Samuel L. Jackson gets chomped…now I like Jackson but I love how just as you’re settling into the here-comes-the-inspirational-speech mode they WHAM! drop the bomb on you! That was great.
Anyway, I’m thinking about my life lately and I start to think about how at some point in the movie the main characters realize that the sharks have been systematically flooding strategic parts of the underwater lab in order to drive them to where they want them (now that’s a stupid idea because it’s not like the sharks had internet access and could download the architectural plans of the lab, you know?). And I’m thinking about how Yancy has been writing that God uses all things, even silence and frustration and loneliness, to teach us something or to bring something out of us or (and here’s where the movie analogy sinks in, no pun intended) to drive us somewhere. The sharks driving the people through the lab and God driving the Isrealites through the wilderness are the same. We may not realize that we’re being guided somewhere until we get there.
Now the Isrealites kind of knew they were going to the promised land but all the scientists knew was that they wanted to get the hell out of the lab and they kept running into obstacles that foiled their nice, tidy plans. They were frustrated time and time again and at the time they thought it was just bad luck but it turned out to be the sharks plotting against them (yeah, right).
Fortunately for me, God is using these frustrating dead ends in my life to guide me to something…well, I have no idea what except that it’s better than where I was before. If I believe in God and the way he’s described in the Bible then I have to come to that conclusion. I mean the the only alternative is that he’s driving me out into the open so he can eat me, but I don’t think God is a shark…or a landshark for that matter. I suppose there’s a third option – that God isn’t real and that I’ve just had really shitty luck in life but I’m well past the point of doubting God’s existance and I’ve never seen God described as a shark in the Bible so I’m sticking to my first theory.
Hmm…for the first time in a LONG time, I’m beginning to see God as something other than some cosmic grandfather who likes to play shooting gallery with my dreams (I really do have that image of him sometimes). The wilderness is stupid and I haven’t suffered these trials gracefully – I’ve been bitching and moaning all the way like the Isrealites did. I sought out and worshped some golden calfs along the way because they were more tangible, more tactile, more readily at hand and I’ve had to drink the bitter cup as a consequence. But unlike the Isrealites who wised up, I blamed God for the cup as well. I’m stupid and I’m sorry.
I don’t know where God’s taking me. I can’t see around the bend. I dont know how much longer I’ve got to circle the promised land but I’ve been reminded tonight that there is something out there. It’s going to put a big smile on my soul and I know there are angels waiting and watching like Ashton Kutcher hidden cameras. Yeah, that’s right. God is Punking me and one day he’s going to come out and say, boy did you look stupid going through all that. And we’re just going to laugh and laugh and laugh…
Any time now, Lord. Joke’s getting kinda old…