My nose is not much in terms of looks, which is too bad since it is more or less the center of my face. It has been broken twice – once when I was six and fell face first from a silo and again when I was a teenager while playing football. It is a bit crooked, wide, and, although you cannot see it, there is a deviated septum that limits my inhalations. This seems like a good reason to get a nose job.
On the other hand, I like my nose. It goes with me everywhere. Nonetheless, tomorrow morning I am getting a nose job. Well, sort of. I am having just a smidgen lopped off due to too much time in the sun. This is probably more than you wanted to know but when you see me donning bandages across my face you will have the rest of the story.
Not only is it a good time for a nose job, but it seems like an equally good time to take a vacation. This will allow my nose some time to recuperate. Come to think of it, I think the rest of me is looking forward to a bit of down time with my family and friends.
For the last decade or so we have traveled back to St. George for our beach time. This year we are watching weather reports because it has been pummeled by a tropical storm. Every year there is always some challenge. One year the little Gulf Island was inundated with mosquitoes. Then there was the year jelly fish saturated the surf. Several years ago there were sharks…everywhere. There was even attention in the national news of several shark attacks along the Island. That particular week I was out jogging one morning and I came across a shark that had washed ashore. He was not very large – about three feet in length – but certainly big enough to cause a lot of pain.
When faced with sharks in the water what options does one have? Avoid swimming in the Gulf altogether? Wear shark repellant? Pretend you are a porpoise and scare the sharks away? Amy said my bathing suit made me look like a porpoise, so maybe that worked. That year my family and I chose to accept the general risk and swim in the Gulf anyway. The ocean and Gulf is, after all, full of sharks. This year it is battered by a storm, but as long as the bridge is open (closed as of this writing) we are going to visit.
That is not too far from the general truth that the world in which we live is full of risks. From riding in car (especially when I am behind the wheel) to eating sushi, living involves certain risks. There is no such thing as something that is completely safe.
We are assured, however, that in spite of the risks in life and all of our many fears, there is One who is present to us and with us. What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31). It is not an amulet against catastrophe, but a reminder of presence. The church itself is compelled to face challenges and be bold and courageous. From Caleb and Joshua who led the way into the Promise Land to Peter and the disciples who founded the early church, we are invited to move beyond our comfort zones with the assurance of God’s presence.
Thank you for the time away to re-create, be with my family, read several good books, and eat way too much. I will watch out for the hurricanes, sharks, and of course my nose!
Grace be with you,