Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Turkey, Shoulder Rides and Thank-You's

Be my Cornerstone, be my Cornerstone
Be the Rock higher than I, be my Fortress
Be the Foundation for all
My Cornerstone
-         Day of Fire, Cornerstone 

Thanksgiving is coming up - a time where most of us look forward with glee to the coming pumpkin pie and with dread to the coming relatives that we haven't seen for a year (and with good reason - Aunt Ruth's beard hasn't gotten any shorter). You'll probably hear over and over the annual list of thing one ought to feel thankful for - friends, family, food, love, life, liberty, and on it goes. All wonderful things we know are too important to take for granted, but so common we do so anyway without fail. I didn't want this blog to be another voice among many, repeating the same message. I would like to merely add one item to my list.

I've found that riding silently in a delivery truck will cause you to have some interesting thoughts. The song above was going through my head a few weeks ago when my mind caught on the word "foundation" - much in the same way that a sweater catches on a nail. God as a foundation for us? Sounded preposterous.

Foundations are such low, dirty things. True - structural integrity considered, it's the most important part of a building, but still... a foundation? That's not a very glorious office. Foundations are the invisible hands that simply hold up the thing of beauty, so that all may see. Shouldn't it be the other way around? God is the one worthy of worship, and we sure aren't things of beauty worth viewing. His glory is as far beyond us as a massive tidal wave is beyond a single drop of dew on a fragile flower.

Yet you find it several times in the Bible. As my old namesake wrote: "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: 'Whoever believes will not be in haste.'"' (Isaiah 28:16) Col. 1:17 also says, "And He (Jesus) is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." The parable in Luke 6 finds a man building his house on a rock, which is a metaphor  for basing one's life on Christ's words. Like we'd expect Him to care about us THAT much - it almost sounds as if the house was something important.

A foundation for a relationship with God, for our personal well-being, for the very breath in our lungs. A precious stone meant to hold up our dirty feet.

Then the image popped into my head of a father with a kid on his shoulders. Think of it this way - what would it look like if a child decided that his father, being larger and higher in authority, was the one to be given that privileged position? It's amusing - there's no way a child can support that kind of weight.

But aside from the fact that, should we even want to, we'd never be able to fill in as God's foundation, there's something else I see in the illustration of the father. He's perfectly happy to carry the kid around on his shoulders.

A position of servitude? Yes. Do we deserve it? 'Course not. Can anyone else do the job? Well, no....
But does He delight in doing it anyway? Absolutely.

Somehow I don't find myself to be prideful to discover that I'm riding about on the shoulders of the Almighty, merely because He loves me. Just... humble. And bashfully grateful.

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