There is a story in Mark that tells of a man possessed by an evil spirit who came out from a cemetery to meet Jesus. This man lived among the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones. (Mark 5:3-5) Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” Mark 5:9) Jesus proceeded to cast the demons into a herd of pigs, which then ran off a cliff. Notice it was the man who said, “My name is Legion.” I’ve often wondered what his name was after the demons left.
Back in my running days, I had a T-shirt which read, “Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected the expected?” While it is an interesting piece of semantics, it has life applications as well. In our world today, something new and unexpected is always just around the corner. You either learn to deal with each new thing or you begin to fall behind where everyone else is headed.
The Bible is full of stories where the unexpected became the expected. Picture Moses tending sheep on the backside of the desert. He had fled Egypt after killing a slave-master. Suddenly, he sees a burning bush that isn’t being consumed. To top that, a voice began to speak out of the flame. I doubt Moses expected anything like that. Yet, after this event, Moses experienced event after event that defied human expectation. He began expecting the unexpected. And God did mighty work after mighty work through him. Continue reading Expecting the Unexpected
I’m old enough to remember the comedy show, “Dennis the Menace.” Dennis was the naïve and lovable young child who was always getting into mischief–especially with his elderly neighbor, Mr. Wilson. It got to the point where anytime Dennis was in the vicinity, Mr. Wilson would think, “Here comes trouble.” Only Dennis’ innocence and cuteness kept him from becoming a permanent menace.
I taught school for over 40 years from grades 4-12 and everything from physical education and art to Western Civilization and Business Law. I also coached boys’ and girls’ cross-country and track and girls’ basketball. My teams were made up of highly motivated young men and women who wanted to learn how to get the best out of themselves while still having fun. As the years passed, the athlete’s motivation seemed to wane, and the fun the athletes wanted had little to do with the sport. I was also meeting regularly with parents for academic progress reporting. I found that the more time went by, the less the parents were interested in helping their children achieve success through their own efforts. The parents seemed to be a mix of adult (age, parents, jobs) and child (blaming everyone else for any failing on their child’s part, lack of responsibility for their child’s or their own actions, more concerned with vacations than with their child’s education. Call each of them a “kidult.”