Friday, September 24, 2010

The Solver

Funny how one word can set the theme for the summer.  When I think back on what just happened, this one event, one song, one simple word best summarizes our summer 2010.  And the word's not even in English.  Let me explain.

Camps are the highlight of the year for my wife.  This year was a big one because camps returned to the town they originated in and the town we live and serve in.  That meant that throughout July we would live and breathe camp.  Since my wife and I  are egalitarians through and through, we decided to divide things up nice and evenly - she would work 3 weeks of camp, I would work 1 week and stay with the boys during the other 3 weeks.

It was during that one week of camp that I learned a new Croatian word - riješiti - to solve, resolve or deal with.  The head of camps used the word constantly - but only in the future tense.  One person would ask "so what are we going to do now that our main worship leader is sick?" To which he would respond, "riješiti čemo ." - "We'll solve that later."

(This is to say nothing of his leadership abilities.  Often the problems got solved quickly and efficiently.  But still - in the middle of all the confusion, his answers weren't satisfying.)

Fast-forward to August when my parents and I were driving up to Austria to celebrate my dad's 60th.  We had the opportunity to stay overnight with one of Petra's relatives in Slovenia.  While we were there we were invited to the opening night of Young Adult camp at a camp very similar to ours in Orahovica.  Now the Slovenian language is different from Croatian, but there are enough similarities that most Croatians and Slovenians can get by listening to each others' languages and speaking their own.

When the first song began, I recognized it.  The chorus would start with the word "Savior" and even though we hadn't translated it into Croatian yet, I was ready to sing the Croatian word for Savior - Spasitelj - quite literally, a person who saves.

But to my surprise, the word sung instead was Rešitelj - a person who solves - The Solver.  All of a sudden my mind went back to all the chaos and confusion of camp in Orahovica on the first day.  It's difficult to summarize emotions, but the Psalm Paul wrote to the church in Colossians summed up my feelings pretty well:

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your own mind because of your evil behavior.
But now he has reconciled you, by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

Christ is the Solver.  We often don't know how he will solve, nor do we always like his solutions.  But from the creation of the world, to how all things are held together through him, to his death on the cross, Christ is my Solver.  What a reassuring thought.

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