Three Points and a Poem

By Bill McCallion

March 17, 2013

Recently my wife and I traveled to Tennessee to visit my father-in-law. It was a frustrating and painful experience for both of us on many levels. A lot of our good intentions didn't produce what we were looking and and furthermore, seemed to not yield positive results at all. On our way home from said journey, a loose piece of wood on the highway flew into the air and left a sizeable crack in our windshield. Sweet.

Experiences like this are some of the most frustrating for me. I've had plenty of miserable experiences in my life. I try to make heads or tails out of these events by trying to learn some sort of lesson. See where I sinned or where I ignored God's leading. But then there are things that drive the preacher in me nuts. There is no neat and tidy lesson to be learned or avoidable source of our pain. It reminds me of Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. He writes, "I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve." I don't like jazz. It just goes on and on and never seems to go anywhere or accomplish anything.

My wife Renee has taught me something largely without her knowing. She really takes the time to enjoy life. She'll spend a morning outside soaking in nature. When we're driving she's taking pictures of the mountains or icicles or a unique cloud. I'm starting to realize that maybe its not all about learning a lesson and translating life into three points and a poem.

Maybe the way God teaches us in our lives isn't through separate scenarios with specific lessons. Perhaps God is writing a story with our lives that's bigger than us. Perhaps our story of pain was necessary for someone else's story of joy, acceptance, or redemption.

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