A couple days ago I posted a photo on Facebook of a pattern in the snow of our backyard. The photo was taken from the roof of my house as I took a break from shoveling the snow off it. I asked if anyone had any idea what this was or where it could have come from. The responses were many and varied. So today comes the civics lesson.
If the issue were decided by democratic vote, the pattern would be made by aliens. I'm not sure those who made that suggestion were serious or not, but aliens was by far, received the most votes. We live in a democratic republic, which means that the majority doesn't always get to make the rules. Too bad, all you alien conspiracy theorists!
The most imaginative suggestion came from my friend Jeanne who said (this is so good, I have to quote her verbatim): "Miniature Yeti bunnies!!! MinYetNies for short! They come to confuse the old! They create patterns to tangle the mind! It's all for a purpose! Obviously you have the eight double flowered pattern which gives plentiful messages! One must sit and ponder over each petal and be open to receive the MinYetNies message! Sometimes it can be as simple as go in, get more coffee and awake before getting on the roof again! 😝😆😂💜💜💜"
As much as I like this answer, reality is not always what we would like it to be, and is often quite mundane. We don't live in a dictatorship, so as much as I might like to do so, I don't get to make up the rules.
In 21st Century America, we have a running feud with reality. We believe that there is a free lunch and that one's DNA is not as important as one's feelings in determining one's sex. Despite what passes for a politically correct version of sociology, psychology, and science, binary sexuality is still the only reality: male and female it is, no matter how you dress it up or how many letters of the alphabet you tag onto it. And the reality of the pattern in my backyard is that it was stomped into the snow by my grandchildren playing "fox and geese." Kudos to Bobbie Jo, Debbra, Kristen, and Mary. Honorable mention to Kaitlyn, who knew the game by another name.
Reality. We don't have to like it, or even accept it, but it doesn't change. We've repeatedly watched politicians and the media try to tell us their version of reality, only to discover that their stories have little connection to the things that actually happened. The reality of life is that we are sinners; something is dreadfully askew with us, and we are powerless to put it right. So God sent his Son into the world (that's what we celebrate next weekend), to take our sins upon himself and set us free. The reality is that until we understand and acknowledge this, we continue on this treadmill of effort and failure that ultimately destroys our humanity.
The reality is that we are forgiven; Jesus set us free. It is by faith we believe this reality instead of the appearance of reality that we are forever stuck in our sins. That pattern in the snow wasn't created by aliens, and we don't have to live in guilt, depression, anger, or fear. It's not the most common choice, any more than ''fox and geese" was the most popular choice in my post. But just as there was only one answer that corresponded to reality, Jesus is the only answer to life's riddles, for which I am grateful tonight.