As I was reading Psalm two I had a funny picture. This is one way I amuse myself. The psalmist imagines the rebellious telling God, “Cast away the cords from us!” These folks want their autonomy. They reject the chords of dependence which they feel constrain them, keeping them from unfettered independence. I suddenly pictured a marionette with a pair of scissors setting himself free from the bonds connecting him to his animator! The picture is funny until the truth strikes. Like most humour the joke contains an element of truth. I want freedom from the things that bring me life! Isn’t that foolish?
Recently my daughter brought our grandson in from playing outdoors. He did not want to come in and “threw” his first tantrum. She works with children all the time and this was not her first tantrum so she had to turn her head so Declan would not see her laughing. The psalmist say God laughs at our pitiful rebellion. I suspect he laughs at the sheer silliness of wanting to cut the ties that bind us to the one who gives us life. The irony of self-destructive independence is not lost on God!
We are, of course not puppets on strings. We are instead held by the bonds of love. We are created for dependence. We are created for community. In dependence on God and in meaningful connection with the community of ‘God Followers’ we find life. These are life lines that bring us abundant life.
I was reminded this week of my reliance on such bonds. It came home with a thud as I crashed to the cold floor of my basement. A clatter of flying roasters accompanied my crash to the floor. I lay there trying to compose myself, thinking that I had broken my leg. After a few minutes I decided to try getting to my feet. I managed. It became clear nothing was broken but that did not ease the throb. How was I going to cook and serve the stew supper we had planned for that evening? Linda loaded the car and I hobbled out. I was able to ‘push through’ to an extent but I relied on a great deal of help. The community around me stepped up and the evening was a wonderful celebration of the goodness of God. Tables were put away and dishes washed along with gales of laughter. I needed a community that night and I experienced it.
I am slowly getting over the deep bruise on my thigh. I am confident that it won’t have a lasting effect but I hope the reminder of my need for community will have a life impact. I will try to amuse God in other ways.