George Bernard Shaw called Beethoven, “the most turbulent spirit that ever found expression in pure sound. The power of the Ninth Symphony is the turbulent joy of humanity.” Of course, when turbulence runs our lives, everything becomes chaotic, crazy. But that isn’t the fault of turbulence. We humans are to blame. To be sure, the only people without problems, concerns, and turbulence are in the cemetery!
The knack in life is to keep enough turbulence to be expansive without being inundated by it. As Nietzsche wisely commented, “We must have enough chaos in our lives to give birth to dancing stars.”
This reminds me of Henry David Thoreau. When his mother found him still awake in bed as a young child she asked, “Why, Henry dear, why don’t you go to sleep?” “Mother,” said he, “I have been looking through the stars to see if I couldn’t see God behind them.”
Let us pray: O God, we are thankful that you do not give us all we ask but only what we need. May we be wise as foxes and innocent as lambs, so that we can live in this world and remain effective without losing our dream of love, faithfulness and joy. So often we complain that you ask more of us than we can manage. Then, an ageless Down Syndrome child beams up at us in the supermarket, or a homeless mother fighting for her kids looks clear-eyed at us and talks trustingly of you and her future. Some irrepressible Samaritan shows up to sign us up as innkeepers. So we learn again that what is up to us is not everything, but only the most we can do is to make grace real to others, to help justice roll down like water, and peace flow like a river, and beauty spring out of ugliness, and hope take wings like an eagle. Loving God, how great Thou art! In Jesus’ Spirit we pray. Amen.
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