Meant for a sign


“Ford was humming something. It was just one note repeated at intervals. He was hoping that someone would ask him what he was humming, but nobody did. If anybody had asked him he would have said he was humming the first line of a Nöel Coward song called ‘Mad About the Boy’ over and over again. It would then have been pointed out to him that he was only singing one note, to which he would have replied that for reasons that he hoped would be apparent, he was omitting the ‘about the boy’ bit. He was annoyed that nobody asked.” ~Douglas Adams, Life, The Universe and Everything

Reading today’s passage from the Book of Ezekiel reminds me of this bit from the third of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.

Ezekiel is doing something with Legos, and then he’s putting up a wall and very pointedly staring at it, and then he is lying on one side, and then on the other, and then he is making some really disgusting bread and burning it over a fire made of — what is that! — oh, it’s just cow’s dung.

… oh, whatever!

I’ll bet Ezekiel’s annoyed that no one has asked him what he’s doing. If he tried to explain it, though, he’d have about as much luck as Douglas Adams’ Ford Prefect making anyone understand.

The weird things we do — like going to church on Sundays, praying out of a book twice a day, or reading (on purpose, yet!) about crazy old Ezekiel — are meant for a sign. It’s not the actions themselves that are the sign, though.

We’re the ones who are meant to be transformed by our discipline of prayer and Scripture study, transformed more and more by our obedience into the likeness of Christ, living into our calling to be a light to the nations. I think people will ask us what we’re doing when what we’re doing has made us more peaceful and made a visible difference in the lives of those around us.

So don’t be annoyed and don’t be a one-note Johnny — and don’t, for goodness’ sake, cut off half your beard like Ezekiel will do tomorrow! Instead, be faithful, be disciplined, be “Mad About the Boy” who is our living Lord Jesus.


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