“What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience.” C. S. Lewis
Yesiree, now isn’t that the truth? Sometimes an experience challenges the philosophy one has, based on prior experience, so radically that it rattles a foundational pillar and causes a major shift that requires one to adjust and regain equilibrium and confident footing before the lesson in the experience itself can be fully appreciated. As long as one’s Cornerstone is well laid, however, no amount of tectonic shifting due to an outlier experience can bring down the structure of one’s values and integrity. This is a useful analogy as I continue to consolidate the lesson of an experience (actually tied to a cluster of experiences, or “aftershocks”) that came my way in the not too distant past. Gleaning the goody to be had out of those kinds of temblors in life, and clearing the debris that results from the shaking can take a while. But God is faithful, patient, and kind and reveals to us those things that are necessary in order to feel at home again in a structure with new angles, planes, and overhangs! The last time I had that kind of Richter-scale rattle had been 24 years ago. It brought me into closer alignment with the Cornerstone that time. This time, it has given new dimensions to the entire structure! When God chooses to remodel, it can be as rapid, dramatic, and transformational as an earthquake. The difference is that the resulting structure is a lot sounder in the former event than in the latter. It may even take a while to realize that what one has experienced is a remodel and not an earthquake, too! There’s a song that’s popular in Christian radio right now (Just Be Held by Casting Crowns) that has a line that goes “Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place.” That line has caught my ear more than once recently. What an amazing realization that what felt like “falling apart” begins to be seen to have been “falling into place!” When one knows what a creative and redemptive God we have, however, one can easily and comfortably ask, “Was this new condition of being really God’s intention all along or did God take what satan intended for evil and make of it good?” It really doesn’t matter. That’s just how God rolls…..ALL things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. I love the Lord and his mighty sovereign hand that works good to those who love him!