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Delivery, God, and Gross, Brown Liquid

Monday, God poured an unidentified, brown liquid all over me. It was disgusting. He did it because he loves me.

Okay. Maybe that’s a bit overstated. You see, I am a delivery driver. After moving back to California after grad school, I struggled to find work. I ended up working in my uncle’s delivery company, where my time is divided between putting away 45,000 pound shipments of industrial soap and loading a big, white, creepy van full of that soap to drive it all over southern California.

On Monday, I was delivering soap to the PF Chang’s in Rancho Cucamonga. When I lived with my parents, I ate at that PF Chang’s. Now, I can’t afford to eat at places like that. Instead, I bring them their soap.

On my way in, I hit the plastic trash can with my dolly. It punctured a hole in both the trashcan and the bag inside the trash can. Immediately, this gross, brown liquid began pouring out all over the floor.

For a delivery driver, this is the time to shine. This is what dreams are made of. Spring into action, delivery driver. I picked up the trash can and threw it into a larger one. In the process, I was covered with some unidentified, brown liquid.  There were chunks of food in it.

This was what my shirt looked like:

Things like this make life seem unfair. It is easy to wonder why I should have to deal with this kind of stuff.

There’s something beautiful about the fact that as I go through these things, I am reading one of the giants of the Reformation, John Calvin’s doctrine of God’s providence.

Calvin is a real stud when he talks about the way God interacts with creation. And he emphasizes something that is absolutely true: God is on the throne. God is the author of creation. God is in control and nothing happens without his approval and guidance.

Why does that matter? It matters because when brown, gross, food-filled liquid is pouring all over our clothes, we can realize that it is no accident. This is God’s world, and he is king over everything that happens, all the way down to the brown liquid pouring out of a trash can.

Because of God’s control, when things happen that we wish were different, we get to ask ourselves what God is up to. It isn’t because of the phantom of the economy (It’s incredible how in downturns people speak of the economy like it is a god) that I push soap around. I serve the God of the economy. I serve the King of the world. And he sent me out of grad school and back to California right in the midst of the greatest downturn since the Great Depression.

This year has been spent pushing soap because God led me to this, exact place. He is orchestrating my life. He is on the throne. That is what Calvin reminds me. And that truth gives me the freedom to ask why. So, I get to join my voice with the thousands of God’s people, who have asked,

“Why would God do this?”

Sometimes, we don’t get the answer. We trust God anyway. But that doesn’t mean we don’t ask. If God is designing our entire lives, we should always be looking for the answer to that question. We should always be wondering what he’s up to. And for me, I think the answer is fairly clear.

You see, I have a disorder. It has the potential to kill me.

This disorder is what leads me to tell people I’m a warehouse manager (I don’t manage anybody) or that I’m helping run my uncle’s small company (I’m not running anything) when people ask what I do.

The disorder can be defined in one word: Pride. Pride comes in many forms. For me, it looks like thinking I am better than other people.

The weird thing about the disorder is that it can turn my good, God-given talents and abilities into something quite ugly and repulsive.

But, God is a loving Father. He promises that when we submit to him, he will fix us. He will cure the diseases in our soul. Sometimes, this is painful.

The truth is, God loves me too much to allow me to grow into an arrogant jerk. He simply refuses to merely forgive my sin. He is transforming my life. He does so much more than forgive my arrogance. He is making me humble.

So, perhaps I didn’t overstate my point after all. God poured an unidentified, brown liquid on me. And he did it because he loves me.


5 Responses

  1. Enjoyed the thoughts brother.

  2. Awesome.
    So needed to hear this tonight … Forme and also for the family. I hope you dont mind if I share it with Charlie. He’s currently in lockdown mode in his bedroom due to what basically amounts to some pride/entitlement issues. (And also the reason that chuck is at ‘shrek the musical’ with mimi and 2 friends instead of us.).
    Did I mention we got a dog?

  3. Inspired thoughts. We all have to deal with the brown, ugly, gross stuff from time to time but you’re right…it is never an accident.
    Like so many others, pride is my biggest challenge. I think it, not the economy, will ultimately lead to America’s downfall. Thanks for sharing.

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