Gordian Knots

There is an ancient myth about a kingdom with no king. But the time came when an oracle proclaimed that the first person to come through the gates driving an ox cart would be the new king. As it turned out, a farmer named Gordias came riding through in his ox cart and was immediately crowned as king. His son Midas — you know the one who later could turn everything he touched into gold — wanted to commemorate the occasion, or perhaps insure that his father be recognized as king, so he tied the ox cart to the city gate in a tangled web of knots that no one could untangle.

Until, of course, Alexander the Great came through. What happened then is disputed, but one version of the story is that Alexander took his sword and sliced the knot in one fell blow, thus securing the kingdom for himself.

The proverbial Gordian knot, a problem that is difficult if not impossible to solve, is a useful metaphor for many things in life. And maybe it is an accurate picture for life in general if we are able to find a degree of balance and sanity with this assessment. The knot has layers, twists, overlaps, and maybe it really doesn’t have any loose ends — maybe it is a rope with no beginning or end.

The human spirit, animated by the spirit of God, has this same essence — layered with surprising energy to keep trying the same way or some other way. This is how we are; we go back to the drawing board, we rebuild the burned down house, we start again after rehab, we give problems and their hoped-for solutions new names, new angles, fresh blood. We throw 15 wadded-up drawings in the trash and start again. Maybe we pull one of them out and start again with it — flaws and all.

We forgive, we move on, we repent, we jump back in. We rise up, we wait. One works here, the other there. One is an eye, one is an ear. Left-handers welcome. Sword wielders maybe.

In this life we have been given, we know full well that the knots are tangled, that the future is not certain. But our holy spirit is in the threads of the knots.

In. The threads. Of the knots.

I hope to see you Sunday in DiscipleChurch at 8:30 am in Leonard Chapel.



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