Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
Rats! I got sidelined with a cold this week and had to postpone a shopping trip with my mama. When I realized I couldn’t go, I called her, planner in hand, and we rescheduled. It’s been way too long. We used to shop ‘til we dropped but we don’t do that anymore. We settle for a couple of stores, do lunch, then call it quits. Like other red-blooded American women, we pretend we have nothing to wear. What’s really going on is we’re tired of the same old choices. Something new to wear is a mood enhancer.
These days, we wind up in the dressing room with the same outfits to try on. Or if I see something I think she’ll like, I put it in my pile. If she tires of trying on clothes, I try them on for her. Never mind that our coloring is different—she has gorgeous doesn’t-come-in-a-bottle silver hair. I’m still holding out for my graying mousy brown to turn silver like hers.
My other fun event this week is a get-together for lunch with friends. You know you’re climbing the age ladder when you choose a restaurant not because the food is outstanding, but because it’s quiet. Hearing each other is the priority. We can’t overrate the value of friendship. In a society that’s becoming increasingly more isolated, it’s good to see people face to face.
Speaking of which, my son dropped by with his sons yesterday. David, the oldest, was all into sea monsters and wanted to watch 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. We chose the 1997 version. It moved slowly, but I kept warning him that Nemo, no matter how cultured and eloquent he appeared, was crazy to the core. Sure enough, David declared it was boring, but stayed committed until the end. Food was another issue. Our “cupboards” were bare because I needed to buy groceries, so we got creative with food choices. There were no normal snack foods, so my youngest grandson experimented with different nuts in the pantry. He really liked the pistachios, the cashew bits were so-so, but the almonds were old, and the walnuts …well, those were just yucky. We assured him walnuts mixed with other foods made them delicious. He remained unconvinced. We also discussed why there were no peanuts. They’re my favorite. Also why I don’t keep them in the house.
Sticking to my yearly read-the-Bible-through plan, I’m reading in Exodus. Moses had his work cut out for him getting the Hebrews to do what he said. They’d been slaves so long, they should have appreciated the value of following instructions, but no. They often thumbed their proverbial noses in favor of complaining. Moses called them a stiff-necked people for good reason. They sort of obeyed if they weren’t thirsty and had the food they liked. Otherwise, fault-finding seemed to be their default button.
And the great, grand truth is, we haven’t evolved into better people. Our first tendency is still toward selfishness, and there’s never been a solution for what to do with our sin aside from Christ’s sacrifice. No other religion provides a way for our hearts to be free. On our best days, nothing we do makes us good enough to bridge the gap between our sin and a holy God. Yet, we hold ourselves apart from God’s grace with the idea that our bad deeds are so heinous God won’t pardon us—as if no one has ever sinned like we have. The root of that kind of thinking is arrogance. That somehow, out of all the people in the world, our sins are the worst. That our case is unique. That He will forgive anyone else but us. It’s simply not true. It’s a lie, meant to deceive. God’s intention toward us has always been good. We desperately need His unconditional love so live our normal everyday lives.