Saturday, August 22, 2009
Wheel A Rollin'
Three blocks from our house the church sign read: "What is the Secret of Being Content?"
Don't ask me why but the first thing that popped into my head was an image of a gyroscope. You remember the little child's metal spinning top? It had a symmetrical disk mounted half-way up a spinning rod which was attached by pivots to a metal ring. The ring had affixed to it a head post and foot post.
Pull a wind-up string and the unit would spin and maintain a straight-up position. My Dad explained that there was a balance of centripetal and centrifugal forces causing the toy to stand. You could put it on a table, on a tight string, on a drinking glass rim. But when the speed of spinning diminished the unit would start to wobble and eventually fall over.
The prophet Ezekiel described a phenomenon which came to him in a vision. Within four wheels there were strange living creatures each having four faces one on each of four sides. Each of these wheels appeared to be in another wheel, much like the gyroscope:
19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
The four faces of each creature were lion, ox, man and eagle. These have been accepted as symbols of the four Gospels: Jesus the King (lion); Jesus the Servant (ox); Jesus the Son of Man (man); Jesus the Son of God (eagle).
Then my thoughts went to Paul's admonition repeated in the letter to the Philippians: "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice." This same Paul, imprisoned for his testimony of Christ, gave an astounding affirmation in chapter four:
11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
So keep on spinning in the mystery of real life, in the Gospel which is the glory of God and which will never topple. That the Creator of all marvels of the universe, absolutely holy, has made a way to have perpetual fellowship with minuscule men and women because of the valiant service and sacrifice of Jesus, His beloved Son, the king-servant, man-God.
And the sound one hears in the spinning goes something like this: "God is able. God loves me. He gave His Son for me. The blood of Calvary washes away all sin. Jesus understands my journey. He undertakes for my blessing. We will be together. I will not be desolate or cast down. Hallelujah!"