Everything Can Fall Apart Just Like That

Today I’m thinking about how quickly things can come apart, how little it takes to unravel something it took ages to create, how with one little click we can delete the work of a lifetime, how one bad choice can undo the good of many right ones.

I’m thinking about how fragile the cord is that binds me to the place I now live even though it was my home for the first twenty-some years of life and has been again for two. Every day, I drive past the local fire station and my father’s fire chief car is there. One morning last week it wasn’t there and it struck me that there will come a day when it won’t ever be there again and then the fire station – a place I have entered freely as “one of my places” for almost forty-nine years of life will no longer be “one of my places.” Just like that.

And I could envision myself untethered from this place, knowing the only cord left then to bind me to this town will be my mother. A mighty cord, indeed, but when that one has been broken I could float away from here. Like a child’s grasp on a red balloon. Released. Just like that.

And then it won’t matter where I live or where I live will be determined by some other cord, another tie, my husband, my children, my work perhaps.

Over the week-end I read a book by Phil Vischer, creator and founder of VeggieTales. Me, Myself & Bob is the story of how VeggieTales came to be and then how it wasn’t. It’s about how the man who was the founder of Big Idea lost it all in a heartbeat, a breath, a single gasp. Mr. Vischer tells the story as from a distance but he is honest about the pain the loss of his company caused to those who believed in it.

One day, there were creators, animators, artists, businesspeople, sales reps and support staff who believed in a cause, were part of a vital team and felt God had called them to a particular work. The next day, they received pink slips and it was all over. The Big Idea was suddenly just a scrap of paper blowing around the courtyard of the mall while a man in a lawsuit sat on a park bench looking a bit dazed and confused. It was gone. Just like that.

And maybe I’m thinking about all of this because I’ve been reading Mark chapter 14 where Mark captures, better than the other gospels, the breakneck speed at which the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ came to a bone-splintering, blood-spilling halt. Just like that.

One minute, the disciples (a tight committed passionate team) are enjoying the Passover meal with the man they know is the Messiah. They’ve seen miracles, witnessed the growth of the crowds, heard the truth and clung to the promise of the Kingdom come. But suddenly, on this night, Jesus starts talking about betrayal and denial. Then He’s more distraught than they’ve ever seen Him – He can’t sleep and He’s irritated with them because they can. And then men come with swords and one of them is not who they thought he was and it all gets very real very fast and they abandon Jesus so quickly that one of them runs out of the garden naked.

And just like that, Jesus is alone before the authorities. And just like that, Peter denies Him. And just like that, lies and false testimony rule the day. And just like that, an innocent man is condemned to die and there is no one with Him when the guards beat Him and mock Him and spit on Him. At the start of the week, they hailed Him as the coming King and now He is beneath their boots – just like that.

There’s a commercial out now for an insurance company – the slogan is “Life Comes at You Fast.” The intention of the commercial is obviously to play on your fears and insecurities to the point where you will rush to their website and pay whatever they ask for their coverage and the peace of mind their insurance will bring.

It is true that life comes at us fast. It’s true that there is much we cannot control. It’s true that everything can unravel in a moment. It’s true that we need security, peace of mind and coverage but it’s not the kind you can purchase with the click of a mouse. We need something real for when life gets real.

I’ve survived some big things coming undone, some major unraveling. Upheaval in my birth family. The loss of my health. The loss of friends. The destruction of a ministry and then another. Disaster in my husband’s health. Change of jobs. Change of churches. Change of life plans. Change of mind. Unraveled dreams. Disappointments. Broken cords.

There is one scarlet cord that keeps me tethered to the heart that is my eternal home – Jesus Christ.

Nothing will sever that cord. Nothing can unravel that work. No click will undo what He has done in my life. No bad choice will overcome His work within me. No loss will be greater than the gain of knowing Him. I know this by faith and I know it by experience.

Jesus was not defeated when His earthly ministry was broken – in fact – the brokenness was part of the plan.

We can face the brokenness of our lives and know that the same Spirit that was in Him – the same Spirit that restored Him to life, resurrected the Messiah and Coming King – that same Spirit lives and works within us. And one day, the brokenness and the unraveling and the bad choices and the loss and the death will all be over –

Just like that.

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    The Conversation

  1. Phoenix says:

    My husband Russ and me?? Our lives? Over here it seems …. ‘just like that’.
    You are So right… we need to take the time to appreciate the people and the places we are with and in now.. and never take them for granted.. because they WILL change.

    We, like you and everyone else to, have experienced the pains of these kinds of changes… and despite the ‘author of them’ the Author of our Faith is the one we cling too as well.. thanks for sharing.. and for the Spirit of God that speaks in and through you.. POWERFUL!

  2. I so appreciate your heart. I love that you don’t shrink from addressing the hard things. The things we may never understand, but are so undeniably real. Thank you, Lori.

  3. Cheri says:

    A great reminder, Lori, to never take our next breath for granted.


  4. Andrea says:

    Some days I feel I am hanging to the last thread…thankfully, our Heavenly Father will not let it sever!
    Hugs, andrea

  5. Stand strong, Phoenix! Greater is He that is in you!

  6. Good to see you, again, Shannon. God’s the one pressing me to address the hard things but also providing what I need to stand! 🙂

  7. Don’t let go, Andrea! He will never let go of you.