Ponderings with Doug – January 16, 2016

dougthumbWhen one is born in the state of Alabama there is a ritual of declaration.

The ritual happens very soon after a child learns to speak, within weeks of the child’s first intonation of “mom” and “dad.” The child declares their allegiance to Alabama or Auburn. Since diphthongs are difficult for children, a hearty “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle” is acceptable. Growing up we were not Catholic or Protestant, rich or poor, we were Alabama or Auburn.

I was thinking about this Monday night. The Baptist preacher, who lives next door, was obviously hosting a Bible Study at his house. His driveway was full. Cars were parked along the street. I was thinking, “isn’t that nice of the preacher to hold that Bible study on Monday night.” He didn’t invite me to his Bible study.I am certain he was explaining the ritual of declaration with members of his congregation. Unless you are from the state of Alabama you really can’t fully appreciate the ritual. He understands.

Someone asked me Sunday if we were hosting a party at our house to watch the game? I was not going to host a party. Have you ever really tried to watch the Super Bowl at a Super Bowl party? I don’t want to disturb my football watching trying to host a party or a Bible study. I want to be able to act out appropriately as I view the football game.

This brings me to my last Dora story for a while.

Dora, who loves moles, hates football. When a football game is on the television, she is as far away from the television as she can stand. She won’t leave the room as long as her adults are present. If we are in the room watching the game, Dora is going to be in the room despite her gridiron disdain. She whimpers and whines through the football game. It happened with every Alabama game I watched this fall. We have guessed it might have something to do with the crowd noise coming through the television. We know she is not a fan of Kirk Herbstreit or Gary Danielson.She doesn’t like College Game Day either, especially Lee Corso.

Monday night Dora was in misery. Her tail was tucked. She was hiding behind my chair loudly whining. We muted the sound and she was still miserable. At one point I picked her up and held her while she shivered. She finally calmed down when the game was over. I have a dog that is afraid of football. I will never conclude she dislikes Alabama football. She does hide while the Tide is playing. LSU football does not seem to bother her.

I think Dora was upset because her adults were acting foolishly. There was some whooping and hollering. There were sounds of disgust. There were even moments when the temptation to use adult language was present. I did wonder if the Bible study next door was as animated. Dora didn’t like all the activity of her adults. Usually we are reading, watching the tube, or working on Excel spreadsheets and we are quiet.

Not this night.All of the noise and turmoil during the game, noise and turmoil she didn’t understand, was upsetting to our mole loving canine.

I can’t teach Dora the Biblical concept of peace. Peace, the way the Bible teaches it, is not the absence of turmoil or noise. Peace is the ability to live through the turmoil and noise knowing you will arrive safely at your destination.

God will never mute the noise. You might not ever understand the turmoil and noise in your life. God will give you peace so that you can live through the noise and turmoil. He is always present with you, no matter what. He will hold you until you know the fullness of the joy that is ours in Christ.