"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Friday, December 09, 2005

The President down the block

On Monday, December 5, Air Force One landed at the airport where I work part-time, whereupon President Bush was taken down the route I travel daily to my full-time job to speak about the economy at a thriving manufacturing plant a block from where I live.

The speech wasn't bad as political boosterism goes, but I only read it online. The event itself was not open to the general public: the only people who got in were plant employees, local officials, and Republican fatcats. Meanwhile I was finishing up my shift at work about 10 miles away. So who cares? If I mentioned such facts just to bask in the ephemeral glow of celebrity that recently brushed my mundane little sphere of life, nobody would or should care. But I felt there was, there had to be, some sort of message in this episode for me. So I asked the Holy Spirit what it might be.

Surprisingly to me, the answer came at once, without any effort on my part. I was informed that, while the powerful and famous of this world could visit my stomping grounds without knowing or caring who I was, the Almighty, the Creator, is both infinitely closer to me and infinitely more caring than that. No matter how insignificant I might feel, how apparently empty of meaning most of what I do, He is always there knowing everything and seeking, if I would but listen and surrender, to transform it all into an instrument of his great design and a vessel of his glory.

Then I heard tolle, lege. So I did:

O LORD, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.

My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar.

Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.

Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach.

Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?

If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too.

If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea,

Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light" --

Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one.

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.

I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!

My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you;

When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.

How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them!

(Psalm 139: 1-17)
blog comments powered by Disqus