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June 15, 2013

A pendulum is an interesting device to watch; somehow mesmerizing and calming in its steady sweep back and forth. Hypnotists (at least the ones seen on the Three Stooges and we know how accurate those wonderful shows were!) often are pictured using some object to capture and focus their patient’s attention to facilitate putting them into a trance by causing it to swing back and forth across the person’s line of sight in a pendulum-like motion. It is calming just to watch the back and forth motion; I remember seeing one huge pendulum at a museum that you could listen to as it moved through its arc of motion and how many gathered just staring fixedly at this device.
Living a pendulum-like experience is not such an appealing thing however. Psalm 107 illustrates this, how different groups became embroiled in some trouble and then cried out to God to deliver them and that seems to be the manner in which we ‘find’ Jesus. We live a profligate life and then call out to God to deliver us from our self-made hell on earth (or as one wag I met once tells it, we sow our wild oats on Saturday and then pray for crop failure on Sunday). We all live lives that are sometimes are far from pleasing to God, but the habitual falling back into those same behaviors again and again when we know the outcome (or should anyway) is as silly as my watching our cats chase a small beam of light across the floor. When they ‘catch’ it and it then disappears they seem to get it and walk away until I begin to move it around again. Forgetting what they just learned about this phantom they had chased, they once again frolic across the room in mad pursuit of this wonderful thing. It is comical to watch them until I imagine God observing me chase after my will-o-the-wisps that will never satisfy and often result in tragedy when I ‘catch’ them.
Thankfully, no matter how far my pendulum swings, He is ever attentive to my cry for help and His arms are open to receive me back. As in the Psalm; the wanderer in the desert, or the sailor on stormy seas (should’ve gone into submarines fella, you’d have avoided those huge waves by sailing underneath them), or prisoners in dark prisons of their own making, all are rescued by God from their calamities by a gracious and loving Father. Sometimes that rescue entails being brought Home or living out our lives with the consequences of some sin (like remaining in prison), but all those who are believers in Messiah will, regardless of

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