A Story and One Good Reason to Take a Long Walk (with God)

 

 

 

I love stories. I think it is because they echo THE story. The grand story God began back at the beginning when he said, “Let there be light!” The story he is telling through my life and your life and the lives of every other person. He is the original wonderful story teller. His story has lots of drama and suspense and tragedy. In the end it is a story about love and conquering and making all things new.

When my children were young we loved to read stories aloud together. One series we read was Tales of the Kingdom by Karen Mains. The standard greeting from those stories became one of our standard greetings. “How goes the world?” answer: “The world goes not well, but the kingdom comes!”

So, I’d like to tell you a little story. Find the child-like part of yourself that lies buried somewhere under all the responsibilities and practicalities. Maybe you and your child-like self would like to sit for just a brief moment with some milk and cookies and read a bit of the Story whose author is God.

 

 

Remember, just because it is story and it is told in simple language, doesn’t mean that it isn’t true, or real or powerful.

This story is all of that, and impacts all the grown-up real world, deep sigh, real life that the rest of your day, and mine will hold.

 

True Story

At the other end of time lived a man named Enoch. If you had greeted him with “How goes the world?” He would have had to answer, “The world goes not well…” People were evil. They not only lived evilly, they intended evil. Their thoughts were only evil, all the time.

Enoch was different. It is hard to live in such a hurtful world and be different.

How did Enoch cope with living in a world that was not going well at all?

Enoch took a walk.

 

I often take a walk when things aren’t going well. I think it is a good idea.

 

Enoch didn’t walk alone. Enoch took long walk with God. For all of the 365 years of Enoch’s life, they walked and talked together as close companions sometimes do. God told Enoch some secrets as they walked together. I know this because when Enoch had a baby boy he named him “When he is gone, then it will come.” This is a strange name. In Enoch’s language the name was Methuselah.

What did God and Enoch talk about for all those years as they walked through the world and through Enoch’s life together? One thing they talked about was how messed up the world is. Enoch probably complained about all the people who were manipulating him, mistreating him, abusing him, all the time. And it wasn’t accidental, they meant to be bad.

God, I imagine, answered, “You’re right, Enoch but hang on, I am going to set things right. Wait for the story to unfold. You can’t just jump to the end.”

Enoch, I imagine, responded like any curious person or trained journalist would, “How? When?…”

But God didn’t give Enoch the details, he just said, “When your baby boy grows old and dies, then I will make sure justice is served, the whole world is set right, and we will start over.” God was going to set things right, at the right time. He wasn’t going to wait forever, even though it might seem like forever to a human who was suffering in an evil world.

Was Enoch so sick of the messed up state of the world where everyone meant to do evil all the time that you couldn’t wait for God to push the reset button on creation? Did Enoch find hope that in the end all the pain and horror and cruelty of what people did to each other was at least scheduled? Or Was Enoch sad because everything and everyone he knew was about to get washed away? I don’t know.

I suspect that Enoch, being human, was impatient for God to fix things and God, being God, was patient.

While he waited Enoch kept walking.

He didn’t walk alone through the evil world. He walked with God, and he made God smile. At the end of Enoch’s life they walked right out of the world that wasn’t going well and into the next one. Enoch was one of only two people in all of history who didn’t have to die to go from this world to that one.

Methuselah lived on, and on, and on, longer than any other person before him and much, much longer than anyone who came after him. Finally, the year he died, God sent a great flood to wash away everything, everything in the world that was not going well.

So, friend, how goes the world? If you, like me, must answer today, and yesterday and tomorrow, in light of Ebola, and ISIS, or in light of more personal and private things, “The world goes not well” remember to finish the sentence, “but the kingdom comes.” Because it does. And while you wait, take a long walk, hand in hand, with the king who comes, until it is THE END.

For more on this topic, click here.

 

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4 Responses to A Story and One Good Reason to Take a Long Walk (with God)

  1. Merrie Lea October 1, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Thank you for the positive remnder. Sometimes the wrong seems so strong, I needed to remember the kingdom comes!

    • Beth Ratzlaff October 1, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

      Yes, it is easy to forget that what we see isn’t all there is, isn’t it?

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