“The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement.
But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”

Niels Bohr

(wild morning glory deep in the Georgia woods / Julie Cook / 2017)

Paradox: a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition
that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.

My intent was to have written about something else today…
but as God often places something in
my way forcing my hand or forcing my change in direction,
there was no getting around the change
in thought.

My first thought was to talk a little about yesterdays’ brouhaha…
that current national obsession that was playing out on every television channel or news outlet
such that there was an actual news story, I believe it was true but who knows anymore, that
bars in D.C. opened up for a morning run providing a watering hole venue for folks to line up and come watch the hearing
(I should say the Comey hearing but’I’m actually sick and tired of hearing the fellow’s name…
as the nation’s obsession is not my own)

The news camera panned the bar—jam packed full with folks,
some who admittedly were ditching work, happily imbibing…
For others, who knows why hanging out watching television in a bar on a Thursday morning
seems productive…yet perhaps I should not be surprised to see so many youthful ones
who obviously have no where to be at 9:30 on a Thursday morning in the Nation’s capital
but I suppose I digress.

Then my second thought was to offer an observation also from yesterday.
The UK had a big election yesterday…an election for a possible new PM and new government.
I think that sort of thing ranks up there with our own election as these first cousin nations
are that important to one another…
However, when I went to read the BBC on-line the most front and center news story was not the
UK’s own election but what was happening in the US with the hearing.

I first clicked on the world news…the US shenanigans was the lead story
I then clicked on European news, again, the UK election was not the lead story
I next clicked on UK news…the lead story was not so much election outcome as it was
other matters which danced around what was to be the outcome….

How can the BBC put off their own election…
the story of a leading global power’s election while
opting to focus on the American hysteria?

Thirdly I thought I’d write about the story of the small Missouri town that has had a
60 foot cross donning the center of their town square since the 1930’s.
For the past 87 years this small Missouri town has held every Easter sunrise service
at the base of this cross, in this city’s central park, since
the time the cross was first erected.

The mayor recently received a letter from an out of town atheist and freethinking
organization that has threatened the town with legal action if the cross
is not removed.
Up until the arrival of this letter, the town has never had a single complaint
regarding the cross.

The group who sent the letter claim that this cross is in
direct violation with a separation of church and state and will sue the town
if it is not removed.

The mayor and city council has responded…the cross will stay.

So whereas I had a good bit I wanted to chat about and share…
there was another story that seemed to trump (there’s that word again)
all other stories as it is a story that should give every last one of us pause before
we continue with the important things that we seem to think are so utterly important….

Things such as watching hearings, standing in long lines in order to drink and indulge
while ditching work in order to sit and watch said hearing…
a hearing that was really much to do about nothing,
while others write threatening letters, while even others of us concern ourselves with
matters that truly pale in comparison to the bigger issues of life, living and dying.

Two day’s ago, a church bus was enroute from Huntsville, Alabama to Atlanta’s airport.
The bus was full of young people, high schoolers and their leaders, who were preparing
to fly out to Botswana in order to spend time working with children there in Africa.
A little more noble effort then hanging out drinking and watching TV…but who
am I to say…

It was mid day and the sun was shining…a low humidity Chamber of Commerce kind of
Georgia day.
The church bus was less then five miles from the airport when tragedy stuck.
There was a lane change with the bus having to overcorrect after striking a car in the
adjacent lane.
The overcorrection forced the bus into the medium, flipping it upside down while it
then fell in the path of the opposite lane’s traffic, where it was hit again.

Both directions of Camp Creek Parkway, the road leading directly into the airport,
were closed as a 17 year old young girl was killed and 21 other were injured,
some seriously.

“Life changes so rapidly on us, you know?
One moment, things are fine.
The next moment you’re dealing with things like this.
It’s just tough,” Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few said.

The young girl’s family shared her picture with Atlanta’s Channel 2 news and offered a
few words about their daughter.

And she loved the Lord with a love that was tangible,” Harmening’s mother said.
“It’s what she lived and breathed for.”

Sarah’s mother read her last journal entry on the bus and said it gives her comfort.

“That God has called me here and he has done this for a reason,
so I know he’s going to do incredible things,” her mother read.

A friend shared some of the final words Harmening….

“This is such a great reminder; we are like a wisp of smoke.
We are only here for a moment and it’s not about us, life is not about us,
it’s about God,” said Harmening’s friend Claire.

So whereas I thought I had some things I wanted to share or discuss or focus on—
It seems as if they weren’t nearly as important as I had thought….

Because there is much wisdom found in the words of one’s friend who reflects on the
loss of a young life….

For none of this thing we call life is really about us now is it…..

Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

32 comments on “paradoxes

  1. David says:

    You could say that we are pretty sick of anything related to the election over here in the UK Julie. It was still all over the BBC Breakfast programme this morning, so I turned it off. Normally I watch the BBC while making our porridge!

    Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have made a great mistake, but in all of this (as in all of everything) I am struck by the need to pray for God’s will, as opposed to ours, to be done. So while we don’t understand church buses flipping over and a young Christian girl dying on her way to serve overseas, or election results, or anything else, we have to remember that God is in control and that His will and ways and thoughts are different to our will and ways and thoughts. And as I draw comfort from that I need also to remember How far above me He is, and that despite this He still walks beside me every day.

    • and that being the point Deavid…that despite the silly things that get us all worked in a dither as to what we wrongly assume to be earth shattering and importatn—it is the simple fact that God is bigger than any of this and all of this and this is not all about “us”….

      I figured the news coverage there was rather intense verses the printed on line version of news which all seemed fixated, just as all our news outlets have been, on all thing Trump…

      I too am sick of it all—but it takes something that really showcasing the fragility of our earthly existence to remind us, me, that God remains much larger and greater…
      and that to serve Him, and Him alone should be our heart’s one desire….

    • and don’t you love the new spelling of your name—-I swear–if I could only type what my brain tells me 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    A moving post, and beautiful reflections. A beautiful soul has passed on her way, and I bet the angels will be singing a welcome. God bless her and her family, and her friends.

  3. says:

    This reminded me of our recent trip for grandson’s graduation. On the Monday prior to the event, the cross country coach was killed in an auto accident. This was a sobering reminder of the fragility of life. All the junk going on around us pales in comparison. We can close our eyes and everything changes just like that. Thanks for focusing on this incident rather than the others. Life is short. We need to use every second according to God’s plan for us.

  4. Amen, Julie.

    I often try to keep in mind my horror over politics is actually a privilege, a joy believe it or not. Some days I don’t believe it, but most days I can see the humor in it all.

    As to paradoxes,the Babylon Bee did a bit of satire about how no matter what side of the aisle you are on, no matter what you believe, Comey has now performed the miracle of having confirmed all sides of the argument simultaneously.

  5. I was going to respond, but after reading the responses above, they pretty much said what I would have. I’m taking a break from the news. I’m just not up to hanging on every word like I did years ago watching Howard Dean testify.

  6. Angie says:

    So much real heartbreak in this world, Julie. I hate to admit that I simply refuse to read, watch or listen to any kind of national news now. Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on outside my building, but then again, with stuff like this taking center stage, what difference would it make anyway? I was never a big fan of the circus clowns, and from your description, I think this is an example of them all piling into and then out of a very small car. I did feel that the last part of your post was so compelling that it needed repeating, so reblogged it for my family, just in case they missed it. And I’ll still watch my comedies on the tube and avoid newspapers like the plague until the day we might have some good news to share! I won’t live that long, but I also won’t shut my coffin a minute before necessary. How did we ever allow all of this nonsense to become “news” in the first place?

    • thank you Angie for sharing…I’m with you on the no news is good news….I’m finding I’m most happy in my own little world these days—
      Hope the weather is good there in Kentucky and you’re getting out in that scooter of yours!

      • Angie says:

        It’s hot out there,so I’m staying in with the so air conditioning as low as possible! Heat does a number on me and the a/c is included with the rent, so I’m resting and trying to spend the time I have left getting my life in order. I don’t want my kids to have to do all of this stuff after my memorial service.

      • A good planner Angie! Stay cool 😎

  7. oneta hayes says:

    This brings me tears. All the riff raff we put up with while overlooking the good. So glad for Sarah’s last words. She obviously was ready to meet her Lord. You contrast our life styles and interests so well. I have a long time friend whose husband and sister both died yesterday. They were both elderly and death was expected – but, the same day? My friend will be all right; she has great faith in God and relies on Him. She will see them both shortly according to eternity’s time. Thanks, Julie, for this wonderful post.

  8. Citizen Tom says:

    Most people don’t get serious about their priorities and the choices they have to make until God doesn’t give them much choice in the matter. I know that from personal experience.

  9. I’m just so sick of all this political nastiness! I never thought the day would come that things like this are being said and done in the land of the free and the home of the brave!!! 😦 😦 😦

  10. We just need to sit in your garden and shut the craziness out!

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