Saturday, April 28, 2012

Smooth Sailing

At one of our family dinners we had an interesting question come from our dear sister-in-law. It was, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

My instinctive reply was to say, "Why not?" but I held my tongue. We had a good discussion, but in the back of my mind I could hear a tune starting to build...

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip,"

Now for some of you those few words have started an ear worm or endless tune for the day and you're cursing me. Some might not recognize it. Can you take a little blog trip with me? I promise it won't be a three hour tour...

I grew up watching Gilligan's Island in the afternoons. (After homework of course Dad!) I was happy to take a journey from reality on a tropical island with the antics of Gilligan and his friends.

There were some who made the best of it like Maryann, she made coconut cream pies and smiled...a lot. And then there were Mr. and Mrs. Howell, who just didn't want to accept reality and wanted everything to be like back home. The rest of them (except Ginger, another queen of denial) would try and help make it as close to luxury as possible for them. The Professor looked at the situation as one big experiment, he was always researching, discovering, inventing. The Skipper was desperate in his attempts to get his precious cargo of people off that island...but Gilligan, he was a little more like Maryann. He seemed to be happy wherever he landed...literally.

Where am I going with this? If you go back to the story of Adam and Eve, you'll see they had the Garden of Eden. All was wonderful...even the animals got along! God walked the garden with them. After they sinned, they were exiled...sent to live in the world outside the garden. You can say they were castaways...almost. (Genesis 3)

Adam and Eve are no longer with us, but we are still shipwrecked on this "island". It's no longer paradise. Things don't work the way they should sometimes, but should that surprise us? It's not our home!

Just like the Howells, we crave more comfort and money...but it's out of reach. Just like Ginger, we seek approval and applause...but it's never enough. Like the Professor, we make improvements to our world with inventions and research...but people still get sick and sometimes die. We're even like Maryann at times, making the best with what we have...but we realize food is not the comfort we need. The Skipper in us is always building that raft, trying to stay afloat with whatever means possible whether it's psychology or self-medication.

The castaways did get one thing right...they knew they were not going to stay on that island. They knew there was a better place out there. They had Hope, and so do we!

As you read through the whole Bible, you can see God making a way back for us rescue. He is like the Coast Guard, working the search grid...making a way for our rescue. And do we just sit there and do nothing, nibbling our coconut cream pie? No, we are to be like Gilligan...making the best of all situations good or bad. We are to keep hope alive and help others live the best way they can while we're stranded here.

What is that Hope? It is His son Jesus Christ. He is your life preserver. And until the He returns to rescue us all, we are to hang on to Christ like our lives depend on Him. Because when the bad stuff happens, (we're all on the same island) we know rescue is imminent...we can hear the ship's horn blowing in the distance!

That's why we live with such good cheer. You won't see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don't get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we'll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (MSG)


thurmanmom said...

When I am asked why bad things happen to good people,I remember one pastor's response. "That only happened once, and he volunteered." Our pride causes us to start with the false premise that we deserve something other than death and hell. We all have sinned against a thrice holy God. For that reason, we deserve nothing good. His abundant mercy leads us to believe that somehow we are worthy of more, but we are not. Instead of asking why bad things happen to good people, we should be asking why anything good at all happens to such horrible wretches such as us.

A. M. Wilson said...

Praising God that I no longer deserve death! THAT makes me walk with a spring in my step, and a light heart. :-)