Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Socks


 
Having read the title and realizing that you are on a website that is supposed to be about the Kingdom of God, you are probably wondering what socks, (specifically my socks) have to do with that.

Allow me to explain:

Sometimes, when I sit down to write a blog for you, I have a certain topic and all the details all figured out in my head. 

This is not one of those times.

Other times, I have a plan and the Holy Spirit radically changes where I had originally intended to go with it and we both end up learning something.

This is not one of those times, either.

All I know is that for some reason I feel compelled to write to you about my socks. I readily confess that at the very moment I am typing this, I have very little idea where this is going to end up when I’m finished. We will both have to trust the Holy Spirit that it all works out. So, here we go:

Some years ago, I came up with the Genius Sock Plan.

See, I am an inherently lazy person and I hated using all that time on laundry day sorting my socks into pairs. (Yes, I am male and I wash my own socks. Long story for another blog.)

Ever since the invention of the sock, humanity has dealt with the seemingly unanswerable question of why there is always one sock missing from any given load of laundry. Philosophers and sages have conjectured that there is another dimension in time and space or an other-worldly black hole which draws odd socks into it, never to be seen again. This has caused immeasurable consternation and frustration for generations of human beings.

I didn’t solve that deep question of where those missing socks go, but I did find a way to deal with it.

I gathered up every sock I owned (aside from one pair of navy blue socks reserved only for funerals and my heavy wool ice-fishing socks) and threw them all in the rag bag.

Then, I went out and bought two-dozen pair of identical, plain white socks.

Now, (provided I had not gone ice fishing or to a funeral) every sock I owned matched ever other sock I owned.

What this means is that I am absolutely free of ever sorting socks again! I can take all my socks out of the dryer and simply throw them in a bin and any sock I grab on any given morning will match any other sock I grab. If there are 13 socks in the bin, it doesn’t matter.  I have successfully banished sock-consternation and the associated wasted time from my life forever!

Plus, when the socks began to wear out and another batch of brand-new matching socks replaces them, the supply of rags for my shop is automatically replenished!

Mwuahhahahahha! (Yes, that is the laugh of the mad scientist in the 1950’s sci-fi movies right after he says, “And then, I will take over the world!”)

Okay, back to the kingdom of God and a seemingly unrelated event:

About a month ago, I was asked to preach in my church while the pastor was on vacation. For someone who never attended seminary and had drifted away from God like I had years ago, being asked to preach was something I wanted to do and even looked forward to doing. I wanted to bring glory to God not just for all He has done for me, but because He is so worthy of all our praise and of my very best effort.

As such, I “kind of” obsessed over doing a good job.

I admit I was a pain to my family as I tried to get every part of the service and the sermon just right.

And, praise the Lord, it did turn out quite well. Many members of the congregation thanked me and congratulated me. And, not one person complained!!

Later that day, while enjoying a restful Sabbath among my loving relatives, I looked down at my feet and found… (Yes, you guessed it.)

My socks did not match.

One was a plain white sock from my last mass sock purchase and the other was white with a gray toe with the word “Hanes” on it—from a previous  sock purchase! Clearly, this old, worn-out and discarded “Hanes” sock had somehow escaped the confines of the rag bag, avoided being used to wipe up an oil spill, and made its way under its own power into the current stock of “acceptable” socks just waiting to cause the perfection of the Genius Sock Plan to come crashing down all around me.

And, all the time I had been standing before the congregation preaching about the glory of God and His grand plan to restore the infinite into the lives of finite human beings, I had been standing before the people of God on feet robed in mismatched socks.

Okay, I get it God. It’s a lesson in humility. Yes, Lord, got it. Thank you.

Then, last Sunday as I dressed for church, I pulled a sock onto my right foot only to discover that the entire toe area had been cut off.

As I wiggled my naked toes in the air, all I could do was chuckle.

Today’s Praise

Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! Romans 11:33 (NLT)

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