I’m up at 4 am again. Thank goodness I couldn’t figure out how to reprogram the timer back in the Fall when the time changed, because it thinks it’s 5 am and comes on, and I can lay in bed until the clock says 4:20, and know the coffee is ready. It isn’t actually 4:20, but 4:05, because when the power goes out the clock resets itself 5 minutes ahead and we’ve had a few electrical blinks recently. Anyway, it makes sense to me and I get where I need to be on time so hush.
Poor Phleud (pronounced ‘Floyd’ or sometimes ‘Flude’), our occasional Siamese cat. He doesn’t hang around enough to get used to Rusty (the wirehaired dachshund, our most recent animal acquisition, he’s a year old), and Rusty isn’t used to him either, so whenever Phleud comes through the pet door, Rusty has a conniption fit and Phleud defenestrates immediately. Ok maybe not EXACTLY defenetrates (I just wanted to use that word so you could be impressed with my vocabulary prowess at 4:30 am), but he certainly leaves in a hurry. Poor cat. No, not really, it’s not like he’s starving. In fact, I have rarely see a more healthy and solidly built cat. He’s cheating on us with neighbors. I know this. That’s ok. I am glad he’s well cared for. However, if he can get in during the night, when Rusty is asleep, it’s fine. He comes in, perches on the cat tower in the office, and hangs around for a couple of days.
I actually like this 4 am getting up nonsense. Sort of. Often it starts with the anxiety not-quite panic fit. Heart racing, sweaty palms, all that. It’s ok. I know why and what to do. For some reason, turning on the light and spending a few minutes reading a bit in the Bible and some Charles Spurgeon and I am reminded that, in the grand scheme of things, all will be well. Why Spurgeon? Because he says things (essentially) like “Yes, you’ve done some really stupid stuff, but in the grand scheme of things, all will be well.” then backs it up.
You know one of my biggest pet peeves? It’s this Christian literature/ self help/whatever stuff that seems to imply that when bad things happen, it’s a result of outside forces throwing bricks at us (or something). Like, we’re good people who have had bad things happen to us, and we aren’t really at fault for it, but we might not have responded to the bad things the best way. Ever read The Shack? Someone gave me a copy of it, with the implication that if I didn’t read it and think it was the Best Thing Ever and O So Encouraging I probably wasn’t actually a Christian and was just pretending and needed to Get Right With God. I hated that book. It followed the typical Christian Lit model: Man has a good life and says he loves Jesus. Bad thing happens to the man, and he blames God and gets mad, Man falls into ruin and re-finds God, relationship restored. What I so rarely see is a model like this: Man does a bunch of stupid things, has regret, finds redemption. Not ‘man has bad things happen that are outside of his control’, but ‘Man digs his own hole and jumps into if of his own accord (Terry would say ‘of his own free will’ but I am a Calvinist so I say ‘because it’s part of God’s plan for that man’s life’. I honestly am not sure which one it is, but fortunately I don’t have to know.) Yes, there are books out there where the protagonist does some bad things (Ted Dekkar books), but boil it all down, and the protagonist has some flaws brought on by something he couldn’t control, like a bad childhood, or being kidnapped and brainwashed. I want a protagonist who did bad things BECAUSE HE WANTED TO. One that had a good childhood and was raised properly, with love and all that, who wasn’t forced into mental slavery or did bad things because he was scared. I want one who said “Oh hey…I think I’ll be bad for a while and see what that feels like!” That would be a character I could finally identify with. Or to rephrase in order to please my English teacher friends: That would be a character with whom I could finally identify. (See, I can do it, it just doesn’t come naturally.)I guess I’m more Free Will than I am willing to admit, but I find a lot of comfort in the Calvinism too, because it says that all this stuff I can’t handle doesn’t have to be completely handled on my own, since God has a plan for it. Refer to Romans 8:28 (and pretty much the rest of Romans 8 as well,context is important)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
This means the world to me…especially when you stick it together with Proverbs 22:6
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Because it gives me hope for my children, and comfort that, no matter what, it will all ultimately be ok. Maybe not today (my kids aren’t old yet), but eventually. I need that.