Friday, March 18, 2011

”All the screws have been removed.”

A few weeks ago I heard that phrase somewhere—but now I don’t remember the setting (and Google hasn’t been of any assistance). It had something to do with preparation for moving something that had once been solidly attached, and now was going to a new location.
Whatever the setting, the phrase hit me between the eyes.

What a sense of expectation!
And fear!
And anticipation!
We aren’t in Kansas anymore Toto—but I don’t yet know where we have landed.

It’s putting on your skis or committing your feet to the snowboard. You are on a smooth surface, any moment now you could be off on a trip—somewhere. Any nudge will get you started.
All you can say for sure is that the future will not be like the past. But you have no assurance as to where the end point is.

Is it comfortable? Not on your life!
Is it safe? Likely not.
Is it good? Potentially, very good.

Sometimes removing the screws is the first step in a repair project. Once you have removed all of the screws, you can fix the problem with your toaster or vacuum cleaner or carburetor.

Sometimes it is the first step in upgrading something. Remove the screws, take off the cover, and now you can replace that old hard drive in your computer with something bigger.

Sometimes it is the first step in renovating. Take off the old curtain rods, or kitchen cabinets, and install something more modern or useful.

Think about the block of wood once attached to the lathe. While there, it was being formed for a particular purpose. Sure, it was quite an operation, but there was a sense of security in the attachment to the rest of the tool.
Then, the shaping is over, the screws are removed, and real life begins.
Or the student in college. A solid, structured life. Classes, assignments, exams.
Then comes graduation, the dorm is vacated and a new life begins.

And it doesn’t necessarily stop once you have established a career. Sometimes a well-established job disintegrates, or the family needs to move, or all of the little tax deductions are now out on their own, and the nest is empty.

Or, sometimes, God stirs the nest. You get this strange unnatural urge to ask a question. And one by one the things that you thought were written in stone (to switch metaphors) are now less concrete. It’s not that the foundation is crumbling, but certain pieces of the structure are being replaced. The screws are being loosened, and one by one removed so that the structure itself can be placed somewhere else.

If this has happened to you, you know what I am talking about. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is probably the best thing that ever happened to you—but it is still a scary place to be.

Whether physically, emotionally, or even intellectually or spiritually, you now know that your course has been changed, but you don’t yet know where you will land.
Rationality says: “Quick, get reattached. Reset your anchor. Don’t let yourself float away.”
Trust says: “Help! I’m scared—but I know that my little boat isn’t going to be swamped. Blow me where you want, I’m free and safe in You.”
Are you feeling like “All the screws have been removed”—but not yet reattached? Hang in there! As trite as it sounds, you are now ready to move on.

2 comments:

Just a Ragamuffin said...

I like the direction this takes me. I have a tendacy to try to take the easy way out, the smoothest route, but this is not the way God works through me. When I am tested, I grow. When I cannot depend on my own resources and have to turn to God for answers, I grow. The purpose of life, it seems, is not to go through it with as little challenge as possible. It is so much more when we are tried and tested. I guess that is faith.

Chris Ledgerwood said...

Wonderful post. It's how I feel in my life right now. A little scary, but good!

 

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