10.10.2010

Havin' a Come-Apart

There's an expression that we have here in the South that I am fond of using occasionally. It's called having a come-apart. Ever heard of those? A come-apart is a noun, not a verb. I like it because it applies in a variety of different contexts. Like these:

Sallie Mae, age 2, had a come-apart right there in the middle of the Wal-Mart toy department.

Billy Bob was so excited when the Crimson Tide scored a touchdown that he jumped out of his easy-chair and had a come-apart.

When Cletus broke Raylene's heart, she had a come-apart that lasted for three weeks solid.

(Remember that show Designing Women?) Julia Sugarbaker was so livid that the rest of the ladies could only stand there slackjawed at the magnitude of her come-apart.

Come-aparts can be positive or negative. Generally negative, as you can tell from the above examples. You may be thinking right now about various times in your life that you've had them. Self-control leaves you, your ability to think clearly is minimized, emotions take over, and the fragile seams that hold you together begin to pop, one by one. Like a balloon that keeps inflating into the danger zone. Any second, you know it's going to end up in brightly colored rubber pieces, accompanied by a sonic BOOM. And then behold...the mighty come-apart.

I almost had one this week, matter of fact. It was the end of a particularly trying day. It was late, and I could almost hear the little seams popping all over me. I was on the brink. Nighttime come-aparts are the worst, you know, because troubles are always magnified at night. It was the moment of truth for me - surrender to the come-apart or suck it up?

But in a little window of stillness, this came: "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17

It was like was a life-preserver.

In Jesus all things hold together. The creation. The galaxy. All the planets in their orbits. And everything underneath your skin...bones, muscles, organs, heart and soul. When whatever you're facing makes you feel like you might split into a million pieces. When the pressure is on, with no relief in sight.

In Him all things hold together.

When stress has you under its thumb. When you have had it with somebody. When news comes that is a blow to the stomach.

In Him all things hold together.

You might even mutter to youself over and over to "keep it together" through those intense moments. You can practically will the dam not to bust, even as it begins to sprout some leaks. You can take deep breaths and count to 10. You can go for a walk. And sometimes the come-apart comes upon you anyway. But no matter what you do or don't do, there is an arch that extends over it all, and it's big enough for you...and the rest of creation, too:

In Him all things hold together.

Addendum: Within literally five minutes of completing this post that was still echoing in my brain, a 13 x 9 Pyrex dish shattered in a trillion tiny pieces all over my kitchen floor. Company was due to arrive in an hour, and dinner was not even in the oven. I held together, but sadly, the Pyrex dish had a come-apart right there before my eyes. Oh, the irony, the irony.

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