Saturday, September 12, 2015

Picnicking with Einstein and Dancing with God

Einstein inspects and stands on top of the s'mores ingredients

I have some friends who enjoy it when I bring my ScientistSqueeze Toy Pal* Einstein to events with me.  These friends organized a picnic together last weekend, and I brought Einstein along.  

Still life with Einstein, chips, giant ant sculpture, and diet lemonade

Einstein outside the playhouse.  Put three teenaged girls in there
and there's no room for Einstein.

Einstein enjoyed all the requisite wonderful picnicky foods: chips, burgers, fixings, watermelon, dirt pudding, apple pie nachos, s’mores.  We played badminton, cards, and Pictionary Telephone and had an all-around great time.  

Einstein tells the guys how to put the grill together

Testing to see if the grill is level

Oooh!  Lots of fire! But no nuclear fusion.  Fission?  I never
can remember which is which.

Mmmm!  Lots of burgers!

Einstein also got to supervise the guys putting together the grill and starting the fire.    Einstein is smart about that kind of stuff, although we used conventional charcoal for fuel, not nuclear reactions.

I only wish Einstein were smart enough to figure out how to solve the problems of the world, which seem overwhelming at the moment.  I guess that’s a little much to expect from a toy, even if it is Einstein.  Every night this week, when I prayed thanks for all God has given, I also prayed for a solution for all the people running away from or taking a stand against terror, war, poverty, racism, injustice, senseless violence.  And then the anniversary of Sep 11, 2001 on Friday: the still-raw tragedy of that day got smacked upside the head by the glee of attending a football game with the marching band.

It seems jarring to write about the deep sadness of the world in the midst of our own happiness and fun.  I don’t often write about these things, but I am nearly always thinking and praying about them.  It’s just that there are plenty of other people out there writing about them.  Besides, I have had the uncanny feeling that God is speaking to me through pop music this week.  You say “What?!”  and “Oy! Really?”  I think God is speaking specifically through the song Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon.

God is the woman in the song and the "I" is me. God says,

"Oh don't you dare look back.
Just keep your eyes on me."
I said, "You're holding back, "
She (God) says, "Shut up and dance with me!"
This woman (God) is my destiny
She says, "Ooh-ooh-hoo,
Shut up and dance with me."

I have to believe that The Divine weeps with us at the troubles of the world.  But at the very heart of things, if God’s creation is good, sometimes it’s right to just shut up and dance**, to have fun in the marching band, to go to a picnic with friends.  Near the end of that picnic, my two older children showed up unexpectedly from out of town.  (I was expecting them, but didn’t expect them at the picnic.)  My friends, despite not knowing my kids were coming, welcomed them with open arms. That was a blessing beyond measure.  My heart danced.

*Does that sound sleazy?  Well, it’s not like that.  My husband is my main and only squeeze.

** But before I danced, I made a donation in an attempt to help refugees.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

that's a wonderful way to think of that song! (a song that I also think is very catchy)
I think I'm stealing your lyrics, thank you.

The Crislers said...

Oh, I LOVE the reworked meaning to those lyrics!

The refugee crisis is overwhelming. I spent two whole days wringing both my mental and physical hands over it, but then the helpful posts started to come out: "Here's what you can do," "Here's a trusted place to put your money to help," etc. I still feel torn up- as we should- but it feels so much better to DO than watch helplessly.