Life Is More Than Quicksand

I must have blinked. Or, truth more transparent and less defensive, I didn’t pay attention.

The scene bothered me. Of all things, with bombs bursting in air and fires started as protest—which really is never a mask for arson—and the earth crumbling, both literally in Nepal and metaphorically in lots of places where people’s lives are not doing well, why would a commercial, one that I’ve seen more than a few times, convey some theological truth?

Maybe you’ve seen it…and I had to remember it was for GEICO…there’s a man caught in quicksand, less than 20 feet away a cat sits. The commercial says something about the indifference [that’s the kind version of a cat, which implies that’s its DNA] and then turns to the savior of all, GEICO insurance which saves. During the narrative the man pleads for help, the cat could not care less and he sinks—the man not the cat. The quicksand will not compromise.

Time and again I didn’t muse. I thought: what in the world? GEICO is not salvation, even if the 15% less is true. And then it was over. Over. No more. Sinkability cannot be stopped.

Then I saw something. First time I saw the commercial ends, the man waving frantically. A vehicle—not sure if car or truck—speeds his way dusting marking its progress.

He won’t sink. The quicksand is not the final moment. Of his life.

Okay. Just a commercial…and no, we won’t call GEICO.

But I thought. Who among us in life, at times with inexorably frequent, doesn’t find ourselves in some kind of quicksand, when we feel like we won’t make it? Who among us can live from Sunday to Sunday without the shadow if not the reality of Good Friday happening?

In our lives, not to deny or not believe, a form of self-delusion, is the car or truck speeding our way…dust flying but will help show up?

I thought of that last night…ah, the joy of watching a friend’s son play in his last high school baseball game…how the son’s season won’t be in any play-off. Yet, the son gave his fullest. Got a hit. Got hit. But, cheering were his family [his father even danced in the stands during some “hot” music between innings] and close friends.

That’s it: family and close friends.

Do me a favor. Don’t name the quicksand. Don’t credential the Good Fridays.

Nope. Do me a favor. Think of those who’ve come to your aid, who didn’t let you sink into an abyss. As I thought about that…it is true in the “who’s helped me?” reflection, I am so blessed. So very blessed. With that I got a voice mail. From a fishing guide of decades past…had sent him a picture of us holding up a fairly large salmon…he called and remembered the day…and said, “Mark, we aren’t younger; but that doesn’t mean we’re not better.”

The quicksand? There. But not a victor. Friends keep that from happening. Why don’t you—I will for sure—contact someone who pulled you up—and simply say, “Thanks for keeping the quicksand from winning.”

And then explain…if you will.

Even if not.

Have yourself a good day…a very good day.

About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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