February 1, 2023
I used to drive my sainted mother to distraction when I was a student at UGA. I would often come home for the weekends to work at an Atlanta church. Inevitably, she would want to know what time to expect me. “It depends,” I would reply.
“Depends on what?” came the query.
“Oh, you know, the traffic, the weather, road construction, pretty girls broken down on the side of the road and, of course, whether Jesus comes again in the clouds.”
That response was usually followed by one of those long, hard silences which told me that, once again, I was in trouble. The old word, “Wisenheimer” would usually ensue.
The phrase, “It Depends” is one of the most difficult yet telling phrases in the English language. It admits to shades of grey where we would like to have black or white. When my mood is too joyous for my own good I tend to temper it by watching congressional hearings. A member of the Committee will demand of the subject, “Now, I need you to answer yes or no…” Anybody can see that it is a trap!
In Rev-type circles we tend to rely upon the phrase, “Providential Hinderance” to cover our bases when missing a meeting or even a poor golf score. In Arabic, the phrase, “Inshallah” is frequently used, loosely translated, “If God wills it.” There you have it. “It Depends” is pretty well installed in human culture.
As children of God we live somewhere between the Already and the Not Yet. The middle ground betwixt the Resurrection and the Consummation. There are always a lot of “depends” on our landscape. Navigating them requires a pretty high quality of faith; the kind that is comfortable with a degree of uncertainty and foggy horizons.
Jesus doesn’t promise us certainty on this side of Jordan. But He does promise His presence as we journey through it together.
I bid you peace!