Predictability. It’s a good word. The small town in which I grew up offers all of that and more. My best guess is that your small town offers the likes of this, too.
When things are predictable, life offers stability, and with stability foundations are built. When foundations can be trusted then our comfort is secure…and when we feel secure we can offer predictability to others around us.
Little things — as little as views out a window can be something that is predictable. I recently read about someone who’d taken pictures of lilacs in full bloom. They noted that it was a reminder of the view they’d had out their window while growing up. It was the scent of lilacs outside this window that greeted and brought comfort. There was the element of the familiar, the stable, the predicable.
I recall a predictable scene from my childhood. Each night from my second story window, I peered out upon the lamp lit street after dusk. The scene before me brought comfort.
Mid-summer air conditioning was not a force to be reckoned with back then, and the quietude offered via the slight breeze was predictable. Recognizable was Duke’s gray tank-like car parked curbside across from our house, and next to it was Mamie’s house where there was a large concrete wall that held back her neatly mowed yard. Just up from that was the brick church we attended as a family, and if one followed the sidewalk on up the path, one would eventually come to the school, the library — parts of the community offered to all who lived among us.
Today, the brown bricked church remains steadfast continuing to point the way for many a pilgrim. It is predictable when I enter because although some forty years have passed, Glenna still prays in pew. She remains steadfast. Shari’s smile greets announcing all is well. Alisha reaches hand out to grasp, and the baptismal font stabilizes many as does His Word spoken this day. Many a church bell rings inviting all who hear to the table of grace. It’s predictable.
A drive through town turns up a friend walking briskly with husband. Recognizable they are as their family owned the local grocery for many a decade. The store remains the hub of predictability. Although the market is no longer operated by them, the location is the same and so I enter, just because it’s not really a visit home unless you enter the hometown grocers.
I make my way to dad’s house. He is there. Within his favorite chair he sits — waving one finger in the air. It’s a familiar greeting. I like it. It comforts. It is predictable.
When dad would drive down the highway of life, he’d greet the oncoming cars in similar fashion. They could never hear his predictable greeting, but I did. “Hey buddy,” he would say all friendly like.
Hometowns are like this. Each has their mainstays along main and for the most part, they are predictable.
However, there is One who is more predictable. There is One who never changes in an ever changing world. He is the One who will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). He is ever present (Ps. 46:1). He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 22:13). He is who He says He is and there is none like Him (Is. 46:9). And, it just doesn’t get any more predictable than that.
He not only stabilizes, but He anchors (Heb. 6:19). As He anchors as the Rock ... I appreciate His predictability. As Heb. 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Amen.
Kathleen Kjolhaug lives on the family homestead outside of Clearbrook with her husband Pete. She enjoys writing about family life and brings humor into the sacred moments of everyday living.
Theology in the Trenches appears in several local newspapers throughout Minnesota. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org