Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Swing for Ice Cream

We had an ice cream incident a couple of weeks ago. With two college boys, two high-schoolers and a junior-higher, we have so many ice cream eaters, we buy it in the giant size. It looks more like a washtub than it does an ice cream container. At least it has that handy-dandy red handle.

But for some reason Jordan decided to do some ice cream acrobatics before dessert. Mind you, he’s one of the college boys—and he’s studying math and physics. So I’m not quite sure why the math and physics of it all didn’t occur to him, but he was playing some kind of game with his sister and started swinging the tub by its red handle in a straight-arm ferris-wheel kind of motion. The math and physics came into focus all too clearly when the nearly six-foot boy with the long arm span swung the giant ice cream tub underneath the kitchen light fixture. The flying ice cream knocked the dome cover off and it landed square on Jordan’s head. After knocking a nice knot on his head (which I’m guessing was probably one of those “V-8” math/physics moments), it fell to the floor and shattered into a gazillion glass slivers.

It took him forever to clean up all the glass and by then, I don’t think he even wanted ice cream anymore.

I hate to tell you how many times I’ve caught myself in the same kind of stunt. Not with the big drum of ice cream. But I all too often catch myself forgetting the obvious spiritual truths while I’m totally distracted by the temporary things of the world. Getting caught up in the world’s way of thinking is a sure-fire way to guarantee a head-konking incident in my spiritual future. Those V-8 moments are just a swing away. First John 2:15-17 says, “Don't love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father. Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father. The world and the desires it causes are disappearing. But if we obey God, we will live forever,” (CEV).

Living in foolish pride and selfish desires? There’s no real joy there—only discontentment and a life that’s fruitless, directionless and unfulfilled. It may even come with a knot on the head. But a life lived with a passionate consciousness of God and a deep desire to walk in obedience brings eternal fruit. It results in sweet satisfaction that doesn’t require the circumstances to be just so-so. It doesn’t require all the world’s frills. And that really is the sweetest way to live!

There’s a sweetness there that doesn’t even require ice cream.