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Idol of Predictability

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Idol of Predictability

by Bob Strodel, Executive Director

In the last few weeks I have experienced a “check engine light” on my car, a situation where the ignition coil on the Air Nautique failed while out on the water, photos not syncing on my computer and a problem with the camp website that didn’t allow me to make an update.

In all these situations, I did nothing wrong, and I could not have prevented their occurrence.  Each situation was not expected, and could not have been expected.

Why did I feel frustrated?  Were any of these situations “life or death”?  Did any of these situations impact my relationship with someone else in a negative manner?  No, of course not.  I was frustrated simply because I did not expect the situation to occur. 

I had been worshipping the idol of predictability.

This idol guarantees expected outcomes, rewards good deeds, ensures you always get what you deserve and delivers “normal” predictability to life.

Many of us have been unknowingly worshipping this idol for far longer than we admit, in ways many of us have not yet processed.  Senior Proms always happen each spring, families gather for High School and College Graduation celebrations, we enjoy an assortment of toilet paper in our local grocery stores, eating out is a regular event, we hug our friends when we gather, The New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl each year [OK…8 out of the last 19 was a pretty good run], we worship in church on Sundays and sing our favorites songs, and we have always known we can go to camp each summer.

The past 8 months have been filled with the realization that the idol of predictability should no longer be worshiped, and we can’t count on “normal”.   Many significant life events have been canceled, postponed or altered by the COVID situation; many never to return.  Proms will never happen for those 2020 Seniors, public funerals for loved ones who died the past 8 months won’t be held, a final year at camp will be missed, and even Tom Brady is now playing for Tampa Bay!

Unpredictability has not yet finished its course; school openings are still in a state of flux, large scale events are not expected to resume for an indeterminate time, and we will be watching the “Super Bowl” on-line vs. sitting in the stands. [OK…most of us DO watch the “Super Bowl” on-line…but you get the idea.]

It is time to stop focusing on this idol of predictability and focus on the one thing that NEVER changes; God.   In Hebrews 13: 8 it says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”    When we adjust our focus on the ONE who never changes, it helps us keep a perspective on this unpredictable life we are now experiencing.  

We might never use a “drinking fountain” in a public park again, we might do a better job of washing our hands and not touching our faces, and handshakes might need to evolve into another personal greeting, but these items are all trivial compared to the ETERNAL one true unchanging God.  Let’s worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

bob strodel signature

Bob Strodel has been the Executive Director at Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. since 1995, and this summer will be his 47th at Brookwoods! His favorite camp activity is model rockets.

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