Dumb Stuff Happens All the Time
A few years ago I was on my way to meet a church family for dinner at a small family run steakhouse in the back country of West Texas. At the time I was the proud owner of one of the greatest pickup trucks known to man, the beloved Lincoln Mark LT. She was my black beauty with pimped out chrome detailing and a factory lift kit. The time was late winter and the panhandle had just weathered a big snowstorm along with freezing rains, so the roads were a mess. To make matters worse, the steakhouse was almost a quarter mile down poorly kept dirt road from the highway. However, as any truck enthusiast knows, it’s also the perfect conditions to test ones skill in off-roading and 4-wheeling. Turning off the highway, with the end goal in sight and a grin the size of the state I lived in, I switched the transfer case into 4 wheel and put the hammer down! Black Beauty attacked that road just as I expected.
It’s here that I must explain the strange phenomena known only to my family bloodline as the Klassen gene. It’s this strange string of DNA that comes with the Klassen name. Best described, it’s sort of Murphy’s Law meets America’s Funniest Home Videos and together they produce Disasters Caught on Tape. One could probably define it as, “What could go wrong for others will inevitably go wrong for a Klassen. However as things begin to go wrong, a Klassen will start laughing while in the middle of it which inevitably turns the wrong into a complete disaster!” And so it was with my first ever off-roading adventure. No sooner than I started down the muddy road did my beloved truck begin to slide. True as I was to my DNA, the pure excitement of sliding sideways and mud chunks hurling past my window provoked me to push the accelerator even harder. In Canada I grew up doing ‘donuts’ with my car in snow filled parking lots so this muddy road was nothing. However as my gene would have it, I was no longer driving the original dirt road but found myself rather happily charting a new course somewhere in the middle of a farmer’s field while churning his muddy bog for free in time for spring seeding. Yes I was knee deep in mud, extremely stuck and no one around to help. I was thrilled!
We need to enjoy this journey called life since it’s the only one we get to live. I’ve never been a fan of ‘Que sera sera” thinking. I also wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that our present difficulties is somehow God’s weird way of testing us. To top it off, I don’t believe the correct interpretation of, “All things work together for the good…” is to mean that God gave us problems so he could show us how He can solve them. I believe Adam sinned and ever since then ‘crap happens’ to everyone. Yes, there are opposing evil forces to righteousness that can make like difficult for us but life itself is difficult on its own. Not to mention we do a bang up job of creating more problems for ourselves from some of the dumb decisions we’ve made! We mess things up because of pride, arrogance, stupidity or just not knowing any better. To make matters worse, we study others and soon find ourselves wishing for things and lives we don’t have. It’s a miserable way to live. We were given this journey and God wants us to enjoy it. It’s our responsibility. The sooner we face that the sooner we quit blaming God and others for our outcome.
Should I have driven my truck in the mud? Probably not. Maybe I should have canceled the dinner. Maybe I should have slowed down in the mud and stopped when I started sliding. Maybe I should have called someone who was more experienced in off-roading. Not a chance! I don’t see me or my family as cursed and God wasn’t testing me. Dumb stuff happens all the time but it’s what I do with it that makes the difference. We own it, so why not enjoy it? God is greater than our mistakes, ignorance and stupidity. It’s in our best interest to learn from them, but I also know that God makes miracles out of our mess. That day, in the middle of my muddy mess I remembered low gear. I switched the transfer case to low, rocked Black Beauty back and forth and drove that farmers field until I made it back to the road.
2 Corithians 9:8-10 (The Message Translation)
8 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. 9 As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. 10 This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you.
We got this.