Sunday, June 17, 2012

Complacency




It is Father's Day, and I am gratefully thinking of my own dad. I think quite often of other Sundays- all those sundays growing up that we would go on discovery drives through the country side, hunting for interesting adventures, new restaurants, ice cream shoppes, and little league baseball games. Life was always one of exploration and delight in serendipity with Dad. I love him so much for that glorious aspect of my childhood.

I am sitting on the back deck of our Hilton Head condo, watching squirrels scamper in trees covered with spanish moss. A black cormorant is stretching its long neck among the branches near the water, hunting for food. (At least I think it is a cormorant....) We arrived in the late afternoon Saturday, and went for a long walk on the beach. I just really cannot imagine being in a more peaceful lovely place. Ahhhh. Life is good.

On the other hand, my reading in Ezekiel this morning was not nearly as cheerful. God was being pretty tough. In a vision, Ezekiel sees God command the prophet to go put a mark on the forehead of those who grieve over the sin they see culminating around them. Those with the mark will be spared, but everyone else will be slaughtered, without pity or compassion. And do you know where God tells Ezekiel to begin the routing of sin? At His sanctuary. Ouch.

It really hit me how seriously God considers sin. It is to be such an affront to us that we are supposed to grieve over it, lament, weep, and despair over it. And if we see sin for the abomination that it is to a holy, righteous God, we will be spared the destruction we all deserve.

The verse in Ezekiel was a sharp contrast to the placid, quiet beauty outside my balcony here at the beach. It is easy to be complacent, to grow immune to the affront of sin in my life and in the world around me. I think it is equally easy to grow complacent to those we should love and cherish and remind often how much we adore them. In essence, I think we are a lazy species. And like the verse in Ezekiel, the place to start routing complacency is where you would least expect it- right next to the source of all life, and all love.

That is what made those Sundays with my dad so unusual. He was intentional in bringing a sense of surprise and adventure to his progeny. He didn't take our delight in life for granted...he helped nurture and fan it into a lifelong flame. I didn't quite realize it back then, though I knew how wonderful and special those times were. I didn't understand the nature of my father very well, and the deep loving motivation that compelled him to take us on those weekly drives. But now I do, and now I can say, "Thank you Dad, for being who you are and loving us so well."

Ezekiel 9:4-6 (NIV)
and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it. ” [5] As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. [6] Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.”



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