My major in college was Industrial Distribution. What is that you ask? Basically it is an engineering business degree. Sounds odd I’m sure for an artsy type girl. Anyway, one of my favorite classes was fluid dynamics. I’m sure this is the perfect opportunity to insert some kind of bar/drinking college joke, but I will pass. This really was a class I took and I really did like it. In our lab we had this large board with all kinds of tubes, valves and switches. There were other variables like viscosity and volume. The point was to figure out how to get the fluid from point A to B. I don’t remember all the details but I loved the challenge of this task.
Did you ever play the game Mouse Trap when you were a kid? I’m not sure I ever actually played the game, but I loved to set up the “trap.” All the parts and pieces had to be set up just right in order for everything to work and catch the mouse at the end of the convoluted path. Fluid dynamics is a lot like Mouse Trap for grown ups.
The point of this random story is to give you a glimpse of how my mind works. I see things from a functionality standpoint most of the time. When given a task my mind automatically focuses on how to get from point A to B. Finding the path of least resistance (just like electricity) and the fastest way are usually my main goals. This is a blessing and a curse. I can figure stuff out but have a seriously short attention span. This story also lets you peek into my thoughts as to why I recommended the junk yard as a great place to hunt for treasures. It seems like a weird place, but when your brain is functionality based like mine it makes perfect sense. All the hunks of metal that once rolled down the road are now deconstructed, insides out for all to see. The parts, their shape and purpose intrigue me. I have had a junkyard project on my mind for a while now. Often scripture speaks to me and gives me visual pictures in my head. Romans 8:28 did just that.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Do you ever stop and think about all the moving parts and pieces God has in motion, how far ahead he plans and plots for all the wheels and gears to turn in order…just to get each one of us individually from point A to B? Then there is still point C, D, E…you get the picture. It’s a lab problem too big for me to figure out for sure! It’s to long and complicated, too many if/then statements, stuck valves and free will. But God has it. He is ALWAYS working for our good, no matter how many wrenches we add to the mix. He is the well oiled machine who knows how to make the phone ring when you need it to, how to deliver that check at just the right time, how to hold up an e-mail that should never be sent and how to make you run late so you miss an accident that wasn’t intended for you. That is good stuff! But things don’t always seem good. Where is God then? When the accident is for you, when cancer finds you, divorce happens, addictions grasp tightly and bankruptcy seems the only way out. He is still there, working.
Following Christ never promises an easy path full of sunshine and rainbows. We wouldn’t need a savior if it did. What it does promise is that God loves us, cares for us and is with us in the midst of all that this world throws our way. This verse says he works for our good, if we love him and according to HIS purpose. Not our purpose – HIS. You can’t see under the hood of your car while you are driving. You don’t actually get to watch the motor run, the fluids flow and the axels turn. You may not even know what was happening if you did watch. None the less it gets you where you need to go. In the same way you can’t always see how God is working and it certainly doesn’t make sense at times. Maybe the trial you are facing is God stretching you, calling you to trust him more, using you as a light to draw others to him or wanting you to finally give it up and be sold out for him. Who knows? Only he does. He will get you from A to B, whatever your A or your B looks like. That is if you let him.
More often than I would like to admit I let my problem solving train of thought take the lead. I try to do the work that God should. The truth is there’s more than one way to arrive at point B. Mine & God’s. Now, who’s do you think is better? Dumb question and we all know the answer (you can look at Psalm 17:11 and Proverbs 3:6 if you aren’t sure), but I still take my way on a regular basis.
And my tendency to follow the path of least resistance…might be my preference, but not God’s. How would we ever learn if it were all easy? How would I ever add to my faith goodness and to goodness knowledge and so on without the opportunity to grow through trials. He works for our good. What is good for us is to know Christ, be closer to him and walk with him. Sometimes the path to that relationship is long, bumpy, winding and off the beaten trail. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Taking the fastest route? I am working on this one, it is a big problem for me. I am working on not being in a hurry, especially when I don’t like the predicament I am in. Even if I do. Life gets too rushed, too busy and somehow the busyness makes me go even faster and take on more. Fast pace equals missed opportunity to see and relish in all the good stuff God has in store. Take time to stop and smell the roses is a famous saying for a great reason – it is true and it is necessary. (Philippians 4:11, Psalm 46:10)
So yes, in my mind I see cogs and gears, torque and tension. How under his caring eye the parts never rust, miss a beat or grind to a halt. He gently guides me along the path he has for me. To bring Him glory, not myself. The perfect hum of his timing in the background. It is my beautiful reminder of how God works this big machine called life – always for our good.
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