Thursday, March 15, 2007

An Extinguished Lamp

My brother sent me a link to a Honda two minute commercial that took three months to shoot at a cost of 6 million dollars.
Two hand made Honda cars were taken apart to provide the props.
They set it up 605 times and each time some little thing went wrong in the sequence and they had to start over. Finally on the 606th try, everything went perfectly and they had the footage they wanted .

Watching the film, I was impressed by the ingenuity of it and how carefully everything had to be planned and set up with precise calculations for perfect timing to allow the chain reaction to work…each piece - no matter how small…. was of vital importance .
One little bolt not doing it’s part could thwart the plan and bring the sequencing actions to a halt.

While I was impressed by the creativity and persistence of the engineers of this feat, I thought of how insignificant it was compared to the interwoven sequences of actions and reactions that will ultimately culminate in the finished plan of God. Every person who has ever lived has been figured into God’s purposes and the most insignificant event in any of our lives can make or break the sequence necessary to fulfill God’s plan.

I thought about how , except for an extinguished lantern, I would not be here typing this post.

The year was 1920 in Russia. It was a troubled time of political unrest and fear. Bandits roamed the countryside, plundering, raping and murdering at will. There was no police protection because there were no police. It was every man for himself. No one was safe, and people lived with the terror of knowing that their homes, their livelihood , their own lives and the lives of their loved ones could be stolen from them at any time.

In the village of Neu Schoensee in the Ukraine, lived my great grandfather, with his family. One night in February, 1920 his worse fears came true.
The bandits came to his village. They knocked on the mayor’s door demanding that he come with them. On their way down the street they passed my great grandfather’s yard and decided that he should come with them too. They ordered the mayor to go wake him up and tell him he had no choice but to accompany them.
As soon as my great grandfather opened the door , the bandits pushed their way inside the house and took whatever pleased them. They loaded their loot on my great grandfather’s wagons which the bandits had driven up in front of the house. When they had stolen all they wanted they lined up my great grandfather and his son ( my grand father) and the mayor one in front of the other.
The bandits raised their sawed off shotgun and took aim… intending to use one bullet to kill all three men. The shot rang out!
My great grandfather cried out that he had been hit… and all three men fell.
The blast of the gun blew out the lamp and the yard was plunged into darkness. The bandits, unable to see, could not verity if the bullet had indeed killed all three men. They jumped on the wagons and drove away.
My great grandfather was killed and my grandfather was slightly injured, the mayor was not hurt.
Had the lamp not been hanging in exactly the right position for the blast of the gun to blow out the flame, the bandits would certainly have checked the bodies to make sure they were all dead and finding that they were not, would have finished the job.
A few years later , my grandfather and his family immigrated to Canada. ( his son, my father, was two years old)

We so often think that the events of our day are meaningless but only God knows how important they really are. And only a Divine Mastermind could orchestrate the infinite number of inter-related events so important in the big picture. One day we will see the vital part we played in the ‘big picture’ when we stand and watch the unveiling of God’s perfect plan.

God is so in control of everything that happens that He can say that “till heaven and earth pass away one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:12)
If He watches over the tiniest letter in His written word , can we not trust Him to watch over us ? No matter how threatening our world becomes around us, no matter how chaotic our life seems, God , the Master Weaver is working all things according to His purposes . All we need do is trust Him and declare with Job …..
“I know that You can do everything, and that NO purpose of Yours can be withheld from You !” (Job.42:1)



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2 comments:

Lovella said...

Such an interesting recounting of your family history. I was thinking I should put you on the trail of researching more about Mennonite Russian roots.
Nothing is by chance, it just is more than I can take in.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Oh Julie! How precious to you this story must be. Such a tiny detail, yet the detail to which your life depended. Who ever could imagined such a thing at the moment that lantern was lit.