I am willing to bet that not a one of you woke up this morning and hoped for a blog post about toilet paper tubes.
Well, we get what we get and we don’t get upset. Because today we need to discuss tubes, my friends. But don’t worry, I think this is going to be one of those little lessons that sticks with you for years and years, whether you want it to or not.
But a little back story, before we begin. Have you ever noticed that sometimes God works in themes in your life? Perhaps he’s trying to get your attention on some matter, and then everywhere you turn you hear the same thing? The preacher teaches his sermon on it, then you hear a radio program on it, then the book you’re reading suddenly veers to the same topic.
Maybe it’s just me because I can be sort of dense, but the Holy Spirit tends to chase me down about a hundred different ways before I finally get the message. Guess what, I think I finally get the message. At least this one, the message for November & December 2013.
My current lesson is all about listening to and then obeying God, even when it makes no sense. I’m writing a book about it, I’m reading books about it, and then yesterday it happened that the Sunday school lesson I taught to the kids was about this very. same. thing.
As I was preparing for the kids’ lesson, a sudden visual popped into my head from a book I read years ago. It’s titled Due to Rising Energy Costs, the Light at the End of the Tunnel Has Been Turned Off, by Karen Linamen. The book discusses how we can only see so much of God’s plan and perspective, like we’re looking through a tunnel. Of course his plan isn’t going to make any sense to us if we can only see a two-inch circle of it. God, however, has no such tunnel up to his eye and he can see everything, all at the same time.
So yesterday morning I stopped by the supply room at church and dug around until I found the box full of tubes that some poor soul had saved for us. The kids each decorated a tube and then we put them up to one eye while we squeezed the other one shut.
“Repeat after me,” I commanded. “This is what I can see.”
“This is what I can see,” seven children muttered after me.
“And this is what God can see,” I finished, taking the tube away from my eye.
“And this is what God can see,” they muttered even less enthusiastically.
Not to be outmaneuvered by seven children who wanted a donut from the fellowship hall more than they wanted to learn about God, I had them repeat it and amp up the enthusiasm until I was satisfied. I don’t know if they got it, but I think I finally did.
Now, dear readers, it’s your turn. You’ll need to find a tube of your own. Here’s a picture of Audrey with her tube. I’m 99% sure this did not come from toilet paper. It’s way too long.
But if you’re feeling lazy, do not fret. You can just grab a roll of TP from wherever, and use it as-is. Caleb was kind enough to model the Super Lazy Tube Lesson for us.
But perhaps you’re a grown man and you want a grown-up sized lesson. Feel free to use a roll of paper towel, if that makes you feel more mature.
Put the tube up to an eye, squeeze the other eye tightly shut, then repeat after me:
“This is what I can see.”
Now take that tube away and open both eyes.
“This is what God can see.”
Repeat until you get the lesson.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT)