Some years ago our whole family visited a well known pizza establishment. We had as our guest one of our children’s friends. As we sat talking and deciding on what we wanted, the waitress brought us our beverages. As we sipped from our glasses, our guest blurted out the word, “Gross”! He then took out an ice cube from his glass and showed us that encased within one of the cubes, was the lifeless body of half a centipede. My daughter, whose sense of humor she acquired from good stock, promptly told him to smile. When he asked why, she said, “I think the other half is between your front teeth.” Despite the laughter, our guest finished the meal with nary a sip from his glass.
Have you ever felt at one time or another that you were as out of place as a centipede in an ice cube? Okay, maybe that was a stretch. Apologies for the pun (since centipedes are long)!
I think I understand more fully the biblical reference of being in the world but not of the world. I can’t help but feel at times as if I’m the centipede in the inappropriate place. I’m not in sync with the rest of the world. It’s even in the little things that occur in my life. I check my spam messages daily on my cell phone. You know the pesky, annoying emails that don’t apply to you? I get a message from belly fat blaster at least twice a day. Okay that one applies, but the rest don’t. I’m not interested in Russian or Asian singles, I don’t need nicotine patches, and I surely don’t need a tarot reading. Isn’t offering a minister a tarot reading like sending the Goldstein’s a Ham of the Month Club membership? Nope, I’m not interested, I just wish the world could understand this!
Over 2000 years ago in a quiet and darkened valley late one night, a host of angels illuminated the eastern sky and sang words to simple men that are as applicable today as they were then. “Peace on Earth, Goodwill Towards Men.” So how is that at this beautiful time of year, in light of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Hollywood releases three of the most violent films of the year? Do you think maybe this year, they are the centipede in the ice cube?
I may not be hip anymore, and my hair may be gray, but I grasp the obvious. People are desperate for peace. Isaiah 26:3 promises, “You (God) will keep in perfect peace those individuals whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
This Christmas season, unlike the centipede, I want to be at the right setting and in the right place with my Maker. To do anything else would be as our friend stated with his ice cube centipede, “gross and not cool”!
I have a tattoo (I wasn’t planning on being buried in an Orthodox cemetery anyway) around my left wrist that says “Contra Mundis”. The older I get the more it seems relevant, a constant reminder that this is not our home. We live here, for our three score and ten, but we’re not meant to feel at home, because we’re not home yet.
The centipede in the ice cube analogy, however? Don’t quit your day job.
You made me laugh this morning. But considering your assessment, I will not quit my day job 🙂