Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The perversity of inanimate objects

Who has not been tripped by his own shoelaces? I walked by a doorknob and it reached out and tore my pocket away from my pants. I was vacuuming yesterday and the cord kept jumping up and wrapping around my ankle. When making an open faced peanut butter and jelly sandwich you accidentally drop the bedecked comestible on the kitchen floor, how often does it land sticky side up? You know that you get more than Las Vegas odds that it will be sticky side down. How does that happen? You're walking through the yard and some tree branch reaches out and flicks your glasses right off your face and throws them to the ground, they land on a sprinkler head--the only hard object within 15 feet--and crack the lens. You ponder the situation and assure yourself that you could never do that trick intentionally if you tried it every day for 50 years. So why do these things happen? It is the perversity of inanimate objects. Maybe it is part of the curse when we live in a broken world.

Then again, as I was almost tripped by the leaping vacuum cord, I questioned the theological implications of my thought. Am I complaining against God when I curse these mean situations? Is He not the author of providence? Do I believe that He governs all His creatures and all their actions? Then that tree branch that destroyed my glasses was operating under His control. That peanut butter and jelly invariably hits the floor rather than the bread side because God has ordained it so. How dare I complain against my loving Heavenly Father who (in the larger picture of things) takes such good care of me? I feel like the Presbyterian minister in the old chestnut about him falling down a flight of stairs, getting up and saying, "Well, I'm glad that's over." I think the ancients used to call "gaming" a sinful action simply because it was trifling with God's providence.

Theological analysis sort of takes the fun out of it, though. I'd rather just assert the reality of the perversity of inanimate objects.

1 comment:

  1. I am currently struggling with the perversity of electric fencing equipment. Repairing some of those things is a major pain.