Rethinking Rethinking

There is a Bruce Cockburn lyric that says, “I’m going to the northland; where the weather keeps you real”. And I for one, know this rings true for a couple of reasons. Northlanders, especially this winter, have been regularly reminded just how much the weather is beyond our control and bigger than we are. It controls our lives, our moods and our social calendar, not to mention church life for several months each year. Those who are accustomed to waking up to weather that may vary some but rarely bosses them around on any given day have little to compare to frequent crippling snow storms and sub-tolerable temps as they maneuver around their days somewhat effortlessly. Not that our ‘fine weather’ friends don’t have problems or find things to complain about. But in comparison to the perils of bad roads, frostbite, and comfort-food induced lethargy, we figure they have life pretty easy. But up here hey, we know experientially that some things, no matter how hard we try to control them, are utterly uncontrollable and that’s the truth. In America, where the Goldilocks approach to living – avoiding anything too hot, too cold, too difficult or too old – keeps so many so shallow, I find Bruce’s sentiment highly insightful.

What else keeps us real? The Word of God. Winter reminds me that there are absolutes, that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour, that Jesus paid the price once and for all; that He is the only way to eternal life regardless of anyone’s opinion to the contrary, and that His Word is the final Word on all things pertaining to life and godliness. No matter how hard we might try to have an endless summer in life, we will suffer winters of difficulty, misery, pain and loss. No matter how hard we might try to re-think Jesus and re-make Him in our own image, He remains changeless. No matter how people may let us down or try to ruin our good name, there is no shadow of turning with Him and we can count on Him. 2Timothy 2:13 says, “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.”

We are in a winter of sorts in another way – a season of difficulty before He returns. Many who are watching and waiting with their whole hearts feel it and see it daily. This old earth is fading away, and we await that incredible moment when our groaning and travailing gives way to the dawn of a new day forever with Him. Such a glorious truth gives hope, peace in suffering, and faith in God’s promises, and ‘keeps us real’. But there are those who prefer to scoff and delay His coming, in favor of making some sort of season of utopia here on earth, where worldly temporal ills somehow disappear magically and some sort of ‘golden church age’ lets the sunshine in for everyone, while denying that spiritual and/or physical death lie in wait for all flesh. Instead of looking at this life from a realistic perspective, they promote a re-thought, false gospel that bears no resemblance to the genuine article.

Northlanders know that we cannot simply ‘rethink’ Winter and it magically becomes Spring. Winter is real, it’s hard, and it tries our patience. Likewise, life is real, it’s hard, and it tries our patience. And the Gospel is no less unmoveable, real, and unchanging, and re-thinking or re-imagining it is just as ridiculous and dangerous as re-thinking any immutable truth in this life. We who live somewhere around the 44th parallel know this ‘for real’. And all Christians need to understand that we cannot re-think the Gospel and turn it into some sort of liberal, cross-less feel good road trip and still stay on the narrow road of faith and sacrifice. It’s either one or the other.

Let God be true and every man a liar. Come Lord Jesus.

About Mary

I have been a believer since 1981. Everything else before that is relatively meaningless. My heart has, from day 1, always been toward the subject of bible prophecy and I have seen the Lord do amazing things in my life through simply studying the Word and applying it to my life. I am a wife, grandmother and work full time in ministry. Life is full, and full of learning curves and seasons.
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One Response to Rethinking Rethinking

  1. Bruce McCafferty says:

    Praise God, Mary! Very appropriate! I have just met, and talked xtensively, a gal from Green Bay, and she is very Catholic! I am going to forward this page to her, I read this page frequently, but this is the first time I haved shared comments back to you. Thank you for your commitment to Him.
    In His service Bruce

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