by Tim Patterson
PLYMOUTH, MI – I am not writing about the pandemic. We all are in information and disinformation overload. I am not denying the severity of the situation, but sometimes we just need a break. Virus fatigue has set in and some are beginning to feel and see the effects of stress and anger leaking out. This situation has made for some very tough times.
If you are like me, you are probably experiencing a day or days when it seems as though all the goodie has been scraped out of your Oreo. A day when everything that could go wrong has gone wrong? If you are like me, you not only have those kinds of days, but those kinds of weeks, months and even years!
One morning you wake up to the startling realization that someone in the night has stolen the sweet child that you gave life to and replaced it with an alien. That alien has taken on the form of a hormone-crazed teenager and he or she may look like your child, but you are positive that this creature that has been transformed into an obnoxious, self-absorbed, rude, smelly, sleeping and eating machine that did not come from your loins!
Or could it be that one day the bank called and said that it is customary to have money in the bank if you want to write checks, and that the last ones you wrote were most likely printed on rubber. Many have received that phone call, letter, email or speech that says, “I don’t love you anymore and I am leaving,” or that really stupid one that says, “I love you but I’m just not in love with you.” Puuuuleeeees!!!!
Or could it be that you have slipped into a time warp called the COVID-19 PANDEMIC where time and all life has been put on hold. Everything is upside down and reality has become one big blur? These are the kinds of events in life that can make you feel like the bird in this story.
One day, the woman was cleaning the bottom of Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner when the telephone rang. She reached for the telephone without removing the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner from the cage, which was a mistake. The vacuum cleaner nozzle got pointed in the direction of poor little Chippie, and he was suddenly sucked up into the machine.
When the woman looked back at the cage and realized what had happened, she was horrified. She dropped the telephone, turned off the vacuum cleaner and ripped open the dust bag to get to her little bird. Chippie was a real mess, but he was still alive. She raced to the kitchen sink and turned the water on full force on Chippie. The more she tried to wash him, the worse he looked, so she took him to the bathroom and started trying to dry Chippie with her hair dryer—full force and high heat. Finally, she got the bird dry and put him back in his cage. Several days later, a friend called and asked how Chippie was doing. “He’s alive,” she said, “but he just sits in his cage and stares out into space. And,” she added thoughtfully, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore.”
Just one question, do you sing much anymore? Have the enormous vacuums of life sucked all the joy and song from your heart? The best hope and answer I can give to you is the one that God gives to all his children. Keep your eyes on Him and off of your circumstances. They will pass away, but He will not.
Psalm 30:5 – "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Patterson is Executive Director/Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Elected unanimously in May of 2015, Patterson formerly served for 9 years as pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. He also served as trustee chair and national mobilizer for the North American Mission Board.