That's Life

by Dee Bowman

I LIKE SIMPLE THINGS . . . things like small showers, slight smiles, soft cotton shirts and half cloudy nights where the moon darts in and out. And sometimes some of the most enjoyable things really don’t last very long—short interludes of melancholy, bittersweet memories, even small hurts can sometimes feel kind of good—for a short time. And speaking of simple things, it seems to me that we very often find out that the most rewarding part of something is not realized when we finally reach the goal, but that it was in all the things we did to reach it.

HURRICANES ARE PART OF LIFE. I was in a meeting in Birmingham when Alicia hit the Houston area. It was a hard time for me, knowing that my family was there all alone. It was rough, they said. I was worried the night it hit. Didn’t sleep much. Prayed a lot. I thought as I stared at the ceiling late that night, sometimes it’s harder to be gone when things are bad than to be there.

WE SOMETIMES SAY, “If he would just obey the gospel! He wouldn’t have to change much, he’s already such a good person.” Such reasoning is faulty and ill-advised. The fact that he is moral does not argue that he is good. The fact that he is obedient does not argue that he is righteous. These facts only show his realization of society and his submission to its pressures. Only when a man submits to the rule of Jesus can he be truly good, for no man is good who is yet in his sins.

I DON’T LIKE KEYS! Keys are heavy. Besides, keys are a sign that you have to keep someone from taking something that is not theirs.

I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but one of the hardest things I have to do is control my thinking. Sometimes it is entirely too shallow; sometimes it is far too slow; sometimes it is fuzzy; and sometimes it is filled with the wrong things. I guess it is really kind of astounding that I ever make any good decisions. Do you have that kind of trouble? But sometimes I think about good things, too, high things, things that are edifying and encouraging. And when I discipline myself to point my mind in those right directions I feel all warm inside, And confident. And not so scared. I guess all that means is that I should do more of that kind of thinking, right?

FROM MY JOURNAL, January 30, 1981: ”A typical airport scene: A young lady with a very fancy dog; a lady wearing a sweater two sizes too small; two tourists wearing funny looking hats they would not dare wear to even a ball game back home; a young man smoking a pipe (it looks funny to see young men smoke pipes); a lady carrying a pinata; a lady pushing a very squeaky trunk; a religious freak of some sort, dressed in a hemp-material robe, but wearing tennis shoes; a man accompanying his wife who is obviously much younger than is he; all sorts of sounds, ranging from a telephone dial, a baby’s cry, the usual raspy address system, to the muffled sounds of the whining jet engines. And people! How can so many different people be so different? Amazing.”

THERE ARE LOTS OF FINE CHURCHES AMONG US. I have recently been to Hueytown, Alabama; Carrollton, Texas; Plainfield, Indiana as well as a couple of Houston-area churches. The language style is different in every place. The personality of each congregation is different. Each area’s social conditions are different, And yet, they’re all alike. Filled with good folks, God-fearing folks who are trying hard to go to heaven. Folks who worry about their kids, and about our country’s morals, and about their neighbors. Folks who love the gospel and gospel preaching. Folks just like you. I like all the differences, but I thank God for all the sameness! I thank Him for the love, the genuine feelings of concern for truth. lt’s a wonderful thing to be a Christian! And it makes you feel really good to know that there are so many around.

WELL, AS YOU CAN SEE, “That’s Life” is just that a group of short, terse vignettes without even any noticeable segue, whose intention is simply to extract a little part of life and amplify it so that even the little parts of life get some attention. After all, life’s made up of the little parts just like everything else. Besides, even the insignificant deserves recognition once in a while.

CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE  JANUARY, 1984

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