Monday, February 13, 2012

Economics and Snow and God's Grace

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare...

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord.
'As the heavens are highter than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpse for which I sent it.'"

--Isaiah 55:1-2, 6-11

I've recently been looking at some of the Psalms on here, and I realize that the above passage is not a Psalm...but it seemed appropriate for today.  Or at least, it caught my attention for a couple of points that are are relevant to my life recently...but they are not necessarily related to each other, so forgive me for this rambling blog of mine.

The first reason is the very beginning of this passage.  The invitation is to come and buy things without cost.  Tonight I probably should have been in my Economics class, where my professor would say that there is no such thing.  Everything has a cost.  There is no such thing as free.  And yet, I'm reminded of one of the opening lines of one of my new favorite movies, the 2010 re-make of "True Grit", in which the young heroine Mattie states that "there is nothing free in life...except God's grace."  I think it's because of this fact that the next few lines of the above passage were written, encouraging people not to spend themselves for things that don't satisfy.  Rather, "seek the Lord while He can be found...for He will freely pardon."  I've had Mattie Ross's search for vengeance and her statement about God's grace on my mind this past week, as I've enjoyed listening to the soundtrack for that movie.  It's got some of the most beautiful instrumental renditions of "What a Friend We Have In Jesus", "Glory-Land Way", "Hold to God's Unchaniging Hand", and of course, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms".

The other reason this passage seemed appropriate for me today is because it talks about God's thoughts and ways being higher than ours.  To make this point, it uses the analogy of God sending snow/rain for a purpose.  In the same way, His words and actions will, indeed, serve His purposes.  This was fitting today because we actually saw a little bit of snow here this morning.  We don't see a whole terrible lot of snow down here in Arkansas...usually just a couple of times a year.  Those couple of times a year are times that are looked forward to by many, as a possible chance of a snow day off work, or a chance to play in the snow.  But it is already mid-February, and Arkansas had not seen snow this winter...until today.  Many schools closed, simply as a precautionary measure.  I was even a little hopeful that I might get some time today to get a headstart on my spring cleaning here at the apartment.  But when I left for work this morning, there were just a few flurries starting to fall.  Snow fell heavily for about an hour or so while I was at work.  But most of it melted and was gone by the time I went to get lunch.  Instead, it was just a cold, dreary, blah kinda day.

And as a result, I felt cold, dreary, and blah on the inside too.  I drug myself through the hours at work, constantly thinking to myself (and occasionally expressing to my coworkers) that "I don't wanna be here..." and "I'm ready for this day to be over with..."  After work, I came home, skipped my Econ class, and have been here just catching up on some reading, and trying to recover from my cold, dreary, blah day.

Now, this is gonna be weak, but I'll try to tie these two points together as best I can.  My today was spent focused on what I had planned, and I spent my thoughts on what I wanted but didn't get, when instead I could have focused on seeking the Lord.  After all, He's always near.  And it's Him and His thoughts and His ways that truly satisfy.  He's the One that offers the invitation to come and come and delight in the richest of fare.

And His invitation is free.

Regardless of what my Econ professor might say about that.

1 comment:

Keith Brenton said...

The snow day that wasn't. Ah, well, it was a welcome break even if it came with a headache.