Rabbit Ears

Years before Internet, Cable TV, satellite dish, or fiber optic hookup, we had TV’s that either had an external antenna or “rabbit ears”.  Rabbit ears was the term used to described the twin telescoping antennas that adorned many TV sets.

Reception was hit or miss, with lots of snow and interference.  Each station (channel) had their own location and broadcast antenna, so changing channels usually required adjusting the rabbit ears for best reception.

Of course, those days are gone, and those who were born after 1970 may not even be familiar with the item or term.  But, it does serve as a good illustration when trying to describe how we view the events of our life.

Imagine the events of your life are like different stations.  Each time you change the channel you might need to adjust the rabbit ear antennas to get the best possible reception.  If you don’t adjust the rabbit ears, then all you might get is ‘snow’, instead of the TV program you were hoping to watch.

In this posting we can compare the old rabbit ear antennas to our own attitudes and analysis of the events of our life.  It’s not hard to take the good things that come our way, but it can be challenging to deal with the bad things.

It’s also pretty easy to tell the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’.  ‘Good’ things help us, benefit us, improve our lot, give pleasure, feel good, and brighten our days.  ‘Bad’ things cause us pain, sadness, despair, and other associated things.  But, there is a small problem with this simple analysis.  We think we know what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’, but often those things are hard to determine, especially at the time they are happening.

Joseph being thrown into a pit, and sold as a slave by his brothers is a ‘bad’ thing.  There is not one pleasant thing about this event.  But, through the course of time, circumstance, and the will of God, this ‘bad’ event turned out to be ‘good’.  Now, let’s not make any mistake here – the event described above was not ‘good’, but it was turned into ‘good’ by God.

Thus, we have a problem.  Those events in our life that we have determined were ‘bad’, unpleasant,  painful, and sad, might be turned into ‘good’ things, when God has control.  In brief, if we could really deal with the truth – we are not in a good position to determine if an event is good or bad.

I will retell a story that I’ve told before.  Years ago, I was pressed by my employer to learn new techniques, new technologies that I had no desire to learn.  I chaffed at the job, it was painful, and caused me considerable discomfort.  I struggled and dragged my feet every step of the way, because I didn’t want to go in that direction.  Time passed, and now for the past three years I’ve been using nothing but what I learned during that painful period in my life when I was ‘forced’ to learn new things.  In fact, my very existence at the moment depends on my skill and knowledge of those very things I despised.

Now were those things ‘bad’ or were they ‘good’?  Well, it felt ‘bad’, but it turned out to be ‘good’, in fact, very good.  But, this does illustrate my point that we are not always in the best position to determine what things are ‘good’ for us, and what things are ‘bad’ for us.  Just because something feels unpleasant doesn’t always mean it is ‘bad’.  And, conversely, just because something feels pleasant doesn’t always mean it is ‘good’, either.

And, now for a summation….

The truth of the matter is simply this, and is expressed clearly in Romans 8:28:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Because we cannot see the future, and therefore, understand everything that happens to us at the time it is happening, we must yield ourselves to the plan of God, and know that Romans 8:28 is true.

One Response to “Rabbit Ears”

  1. beamcguire@gmail.com Says:

    I think the Lord is trying to get a point across here. AGAIN…my husband just recently preached this same text! It took me a few years but I FINALLY came to the point to realize that everything that happens to us in life….God is working a divine plan! I wish I had learned that a long time ago!! Blessings…..

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