On my office bulletin board, I have my favorite Far Side cartoon – It’s a lobster with his claws tied, being pulled out of a crate by a chef, with the boiling pot of water he knows he is going into. The lobster keeps repeating, like Dorothy, “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home”. Unlike the story of the Wizard of Oz, or life for that matter, the lobster will end up in the boiling water – regardless of how many times he chants about home.
It’s easy for any of us to labor under the delusion that if we recite the perfect formula, it will avert the boiling pot we face. If we mouth the ideal words in the right order, we can control our destiny, so goes the hyper-spirituality mindset that denies the existence of any kind of pain or trial. Interestingly, one of the definitions of destiny is “a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency”. We can even take the opposite route by becoming fatalistic. The fatalistic mindset says “Let’s just lay down and die”.
In view of these, I am convinced that when all is said and done, God will put His children through the “paces”. Paul and Barnabas encouraged new disciples of the kingdom with this harsh reality:
“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,”
Acts 14:22b (NIV)
Both fatalism and denial keep us from finding God in our boiling pot. In these mindsets, “flight” in either direction becomes the doctrine as we chose to frame our own reality over God’s.
The beauty of following Christ however is that the boiling pot is not our final destination, but only a dark passage we must endure to experience His kingdom. The only thing you can do is give yourself with full abandon into God’s hands at that perilous moment. Then you will see the beauty of the kingdom manifesting inside you.