Thursday, May 18, 2006

Whence Comes Renewal?

I have a son-in-law who writes a blog dedicated to a unique and whimsical look at entropy. The subject is intriguing, and quite complex and Edwin's take is an intellectual giggle for me. I am not going to attempt an explanation of classic entrropy here. Suffice it to say that things break or wear out or run down or erode or rust or otherwise age and diminish in condition. Unless new energy is introduced the end result is a state of total inertness.

That's why you have to eat now and then. The energy in food is used or lost after a short while. The car won't keep going endlessly; it requires periodic applications of new energy. If fact no matter how new and apparently perfect it seemed on the showroom floor, it gets dirty, collects dings and dents and damage, ages, wears out, corrodes (think Juneau Body), comes apart, and in too few years becomes a mere hulk trying to look like a rusty stain in a wrecking yard. This state of declining available energy is entropy - sorta.

It means the mechanism in the water reservior above the commode that refills the tank with water after each flush had to be replaced today because it failed last night (as soon as Bible class began) and fountained water all over the floor. It means a trip to Home Depot was necessary this afternoon because the shop lights declined into junk at a critical moment and had to be replaced before the job could be completed. The compressor was required today because the mower tire did not retain all the air put in it last month. A new well pump next door stresses the old wiring so much that a new pump fails and new wiring must be installed so an even newer pump can function. The trend of having to fix or replace something first as a prelude to almost any task is a familiar routine to most of us.

Stuff gets old. It breaks, it deteriorates in sunlight, so all the plastic outdoors has to be replaced - visqueen over the lumber, tarps over the woodpile, water-filled mild bottles used as weights holding things down against the too naughty wind... Last year's new water hose this year looks a little feeble and weary. The power tool that worked fine last time, is balky this time. The pruners have to sharpened again and reoiled. The perfectly good extension cord has a loose end. Both of the weed pluckers had to be repaired. I'm wearing out too.

Now I take pretty good care of things. I keep them (mostly) repaired, repainted, resharpened, properly stored when not in use, and when something breaks or goes awry I try to get at it right away. I'm prone to some impatience in the process, but I enjoy the tinkering.

Here's an application: In my life when I get bent, and damaged, and out of sorts, I sure am glad my Heavenly father is more patient in healing or mending or straightening me out than I am with my own tools and toys. God is especially good at pointing out my weak spots, indicating my shortcomings, and drawing attention to my failures. Sometimes He does this through someone else with a glance, a tone of voice, a pertinent question or a gentle word. Sometimes it becomes obvious when a Bible verse takes on a brand new meaning or when all I've ever been taught confronts me. Even my persistent, nagging conscience can be a godly accuser.

I am in love with both of the LIFE groups of which I am a part. Their examples and even their expectations are a guide and a light to my path. I am encouraged is many little ways by each one. Individually, every precious person in each group holds me to a high standard. When I mess up, they are forgiving, even tender enough to not mention my faux pas or wordy blunders. With such love they constantly fix me and keep me in functional repair. I'm not in new condition any more, but they keep me useful, and surely they can be considered God's instruments of encouragement and restoration.

Entropy is not to be feared when new energy can be added to the system. Faith, Hope, and Love are divine fuels which God provides to keep us going. Christian friends are the means of delivery. To answer my own question put to those classes: Yes, I saw God yesterday about 2:00 in the afternoon and again between 6:00 and 9:00 in the evening. I saw Him in the faces and hands and lives of many dear friends. So "Thanks, Folks," for your refreshing renewal of my spirit yesterday.


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