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A Universal Truth

For the last four years I’ve been living in the city. It’s not a big city by any means, but moving here after spending two years in a small mountain town where time has no meaning, fellowship means cutting wood with your neighbor, and cell phone towers are from the devil, it feels like a raging metropolitan city on par with my memories of visiting New York City in decades past. After all, perception is king and gives no quarter to reality at times of convenience.

“perception is king and gives no quarter to reality at times of convenience”

Speaking of perception, time moves much faster in the city and I quickly adapted to my new surroundings and adopted a pace that viewed slowing down and resting as an uninvited guest that has overstayed his welcome.

That’s when my Heavenly Father, whose wisdom has no bounds, and because He is good, His kindness is equally far-reaching, stepped in and gently guided me into the rest that is available to all who love His Son. The details of how my Father did this are many and better served around a dinner table served “family style”, where entrees are swapped with same frequency as stories of how the invisible hand of God gently, and occasionally with the loving force of a mac truck (but only when necessary), moved us from point A to point B.

Fully enveloped in the yoke of Christ, Whose yoke is easy and burden is light, I found myself in a moment of rest in the foothills past a small town called Auburn. Here, time moves slowly and moments last longer than your granddad’s stories.

In one of those moments, I was standing on an edge of a hilltop overlooking an indescribable metropolis of trees with a backdrop canvas of snow-capped mountains. In that moment, a quote from C.S. Lewis, a teacher whom I have had 1,000s of discussions with, though I have never met him, came to my mind.

Lewis said, “… human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.” Then he added, “that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.”

“human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it”

Puzzled by why this quote would invade the tranquility of gazing at a portrait of such grandeur, painted with the Word of the One who is holding it all together by the very power of His speech, reality came crashing into my private moment where I was enjoying my Father through His creation.

Four kids were standing a few feet behind arguing over whose turn it was to stand on a boulder to cast their vision as far as their eyes could see with the intensity of a conquering general enjoying the spoils of victory.

What was unique about the argument was that 2 of the children were speaking English and the other two were speaking Cantonese. Here we have two sets of kids, who have grown up in two different worlds, separated as far as the East is from the West (metaphorically, not geographically) in terms of langue, and yet they both were able to connect to a Law that bound them to do something kids don’t seem to want to do on their own, take turns.

Over the next few minutes, I watched the little ones fighting over whose turn it was to stand on the rock, chests puffed up and one hand over their brow as if they were blocking the sun so they could see further, and it was all because of a Law that they couldn’t communicate to one another.

I smiled and laughed and quietly thanked my Father for this precious teaching moment and I thought to myself, “if that is proof of a Law Giver, well, I don’t know what is”.

Jeff Roets

Jeff is a disciple of Christ, a husband, a daddy, and served as senior pastor of Newark Community Church, in beautiful Newark, CA.

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