Ponderings with Doug – March 3, 2017


The other day I was pondering the subtle differences in the theological constructs described as infralapsarianism, sublapsarianism, and supralapsarianism. There is only one clergy in town who can completely explain these constructs to you. I invite you to the Presbyterian Church to ask Rev. Sara about them. I was rejoicing that I am Methodist and we talk about that sort of stuff with the word grace. I was having this theological reverie, when my cell phone rang. It was an irate citizen who hit a pothole in my district.

Potholes are indigenous to Natchitoches Parish. The word “natchitoches” is loosely translated, “man those roads are rough.” On the tax money the Parish receives for roads, it would take over 40 years to fix all the roads. That assumes no new maintenance issues. It leaves no money for maintaining the roads that would be repaired first in the 40 year period. The problem is mammoth. The Parish is neither hiding nor mis-spending money.
There is NO secret money that is going to suddenly appear. The Parish Engineer and the Parish President are driven to distraction by a problem that honestly can’t be solved without new taxes. That is an inconvenient truth. Potholes are driving the drivers mad. They are driving me nuts! For me that is a very short trip! You think the politics of potholes has interrupted your article, don’t you?

A pothole interrupted my God thoughts.

Isn’t that the way of it? If we could plan for interruptions they would be called planned activities.

We treat interruptions as something akin to walking along the seashore with your toes in the water, trying to enjoy the view but remaining all too aware of the countless seagulls flying overhead. You can’t help but be distracted by the increasing possibility of something quite unpleasant falling from the sky. There is another way to view an interruption.

Have you considered that the interruptions in your life might be holy things? They might be God’s gracious way of getting your attention.

Lent is a season of self-imposed interruption, if you observe Lent. It interrupts our usual habits. What did you give up for Lent? I know it is like asking you about your New Year’s resolutions. We don’t make resolutions or practice Lenten disciplines because they represent an interruption of the normal choices we make. Resolutions and interruptions are threats to the illusion we have of control.

Lent brings us the gift of holy interruption. This season of intentionally making room by way of letting go of tried and true rhythms prepares us for new life that springs forth in the garden of the Resurrection. Lent is a minor key season that messes up the usual. It prepares us for the massive interruption of human history called the Resurrection.

Infralapsarianism, sublapsarianism, and supralapsarianism boil down to the question of when God decided to interrupt human history with His son Jesus. Everything about Jesus was an interruption. His life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and reign as Lord and Savior have interrupted human selfishness and sinfulness. Following Him certainly changes the course of your well planned life.

The next time you are interrupted be encouraged. God may be allowing you to put aside your need to control and open up an opportunity to experience His love and grace. God shows up, when we are not looking for Him. His love and grace can often be found in holy interruptions and sometimes in potholes.

One thought on “Ponderings with Doug – March 3, 2017

  1. Wham…..I just hit a pothole and it
    brought me back to reality. What an amazing story. The word “TAX” could easily be one of those evil
    4 letter words that makes people cringe; however, you are correct in that this is going to be the only solution to our road problems. I have to chuckle from time to time when I see an old pickup truck on Patrick Road where I live. There is a driver slowly moving along and two men with shovels scooping asphalt from the back and putting it into potholes in the road. Not a high tech operation, but when you are working with a shoe-string budget, you don’t buy expensive strings…Keep up your good work keeping us informed and entertained.

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