Everything is different, but the same. Things are more moderner than before, bigger... and yet smaller! It's computers!This morning I was walking through my neighborhood in the rain. Sort of. When you ride the bus to work, you have three options when it comes to weather: (1) Stay home when the weather is unpleasant (not a viable option); (2) wimp out and drive that day; or (3) learn to enjoy the weather, or at least put up with it. I had decided to rise to the challenge and not let a few drizzle drops force me to have to negotiate traffic for myself. That's what umbrellas are for, right?
...SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!
- OX, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Anyway, when I actually got out into the neighborhood, I realized that the only place it was still raining was under the trees. The rain had stopped, but there was water on leaves and when the wind blew, the water would come on down and seem just like rain. I was either going to have to open my umbrella, or get out from under those trees.
I opted for the second option... umbrellas can be a real pain in the neck in Oklahoma wind. The only way to get out from under the trees was to walk out in the street, so that's what I did. As I walked, I thought about all of the times I've walked that particular route. I've been riding the bus for several years now, and some times of year it's hot and I seek out the shade of the same trees I was trying to avoid. I've walked in pretty heavy downpours, too, where it really didn't matter much whether I was under trees or not... I was going to get soaked. I've also walked through the neighborhood at other times when everything was frozen and there were no leaves at all on the trees.
Then something came to me. A few weeks ago here, it was pretty hot out. Then, I had sought the shade of the same trees I was avoiding. The neighborhood was largely the same, but my experience of it was different. Why? Two reasons: the weather, and my response to the weather. I could have walked exactly the same footsteps I had walked on a hot day, and my experience would still have been a little different... but instead I was altering my route a bit, and my experience of the neighborhood was quite a bit different.
And I thought about God.
Several years ago I blogged about how God remains the same, even though our experience of Him changes at different times. But it seems to me that my walk through the neighborhood sheds a slightly different light on things. The neighborhood is the same; my experience of it changes based on (1) the season, and (2) my reaction to the circumstances. What if the way we experience God changes for the same reasons? What if we experience Him differently in different seasons, and even within that context, in different ways based on our response to those different circumstances?
(in case you're wondering... here's the source of the quote, on YouTube.)