Monday, July 23, 2012

The Suddenlies

Things alter for the worse spontaneously,
if they be not altered for the better designedly. 
~Francis Bacon

Suddenly.  It's a word that summons our certain understanding of immediacy.  We never doubt that such a word conveys a prompt, or abrupt something.  And - - for the most part - - we like to think of life's suddenlies as good things.   
  • Suddenly the rain stopped.
  • Suddenly he returned to his senses.
  • We were suddenly out of peril.
  • Suddenly the fever broke.
  • Then, suddenly, a light dawned.
Several days last week, hubby & I spent time in Denver, Colorado.  He had business to attend to, and I went along as co-pilot.  It afforded us an opportunity to connect with dear friends, as well as to enjoy numerous sight-seeing forays.  For many hours we wiled away time poking about the   city & its environs, as well as driving into the nearby mountains, lunching in Vail, then returning by way of Loveland Pass.  What beauty! 

But ... suddenly ... all that beauty was blighted by the tragic events of a night's evil doing.  In an instant, all sense of innocence was shattered.  A lone gunman entered a theater in Aurora (about 8 miles from our hotel) and began a murderous assault that left 13 dead, 50+ wounded, families shattered, and a nation is disbelief. 

It also left no small number of people on their knees in prayer.  Aurora churches were filled to the brim yesterday, as people gathered to make sense of the senseless, and to comfort those who mourn.

Life as we know it changes in both small & great ways where suddenlies are involved.  There's no time to turn on a dime.  It happens so fast ... too fast, to make many, if any course corrections.  What was passes.  What is new or different takes shape.  Life is altered somehow, be it for the better or the worse.

I like to think I live on the edge of suddenlies; aware & prepared for whatever - come what may.  Or, as the old preachers would say, prayed up.  I hope my sense of equilibrium is well-established in the certainty that this world is passing away; and that my hope is built on nothing less that Jesus and His faithfulness. 

Rather than tether myself to the notion that all things continue the same, I pray I am always at the ready for them - the suddenlies.

Even so, and yet ... we mortals are fearfully & wonderfully composed with a tenacious bent.  Life's suddenlies happen, and with them our ability to get up and go on - the better & wiser & more thankful for, in the midst of, or in spite of them. 

And suddenly a voice came from heaven,
saying, “This is My beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased.”
~ Matthew 3:17
Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake,
so that the waves swept over the boat.
But Jesus was sleeping. 
~ Matthew 8:24

As they were walking along and talking together,
suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire
appeared and separated the two of them,
and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
~ 2 Kings 2:11

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know
when the owner of the house will come back—
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 
If he comes suddenly,
do not let him find you sleeping. 
~ Mark 13:35-36

Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed
down with carousing, drunkenness and
the anxieties of life, and that day will
close on you suddenly like a trap. 
~ Luke 21:34

While people are saying, “Peace and safety,”
destruction will come on them suddenly,
as labor pains on a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape. 
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:3

I will send my messenger,
who will prepare the way before me.
Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking
will come to His temple;
the messenger of the covenant,
whom you desire, will come,”
says the LORD Almighty.
Malachi 3:1
 When we are no longer able to change
a situation, we are challenged
to change ourselves. 
~Victor Frankl

There never was a night or a problem
that could defeat sunrise or hope.
~ Bern Williams


Cindy said...

The suddenlies always take us by surprise, and unfortunately, sometimes in a tragic way as you've said. It reminds me of the verse in Proverbs that says we can make our plans but God has the final say.

skoots1mom said...

my hubs walked in last week and announced his retirement; and he wants to move to a lake somewhere...the suddenlies have come!

Debbie said...

Oh isn't this the truth? Soo many suddenlies happen to us all, and we find ourselves on a completely different path. But it isn't always the suddenlies, but our reactions to them that bring the biggest change. this was sooo good as always!

Peggy said...

Suddenly, we all hold a little tighter to those we love.

Maryann said...

To live ones life on the edge of suddenliness, thats a wonderful way of thinking of how we should be living our lives. Lives can change in a moment!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

It's late in the evening, on the edge of a new day in NC, and I weep with your words. I think about my suddenlies and those who are facing theirs tonight. You're right... the faith investments we make today prepare us for the "suddenly" of our tomorrows. I know this one.

Praying for so many as I think upon your words this night.

Sweet peace and rest to your soul, friend.


Just a little something from Judy said...

My first occasion to read a post on the "suddenlies" of life. I did not know you were in the state of CO through that evil happening. But, you were and you wrote the most appropriate post on it all. You are so gifted and your way of writing continually blesses my heart. Thank you!