It’s been raining for days in Stockholm, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played this track. We don’t get thunder and lightening here. We don’t get the scent of rain either. The only clue we might get to an approaching storm is strong wind. And then it just starts raining. So now I’ve gotten in the habit of playing this track over and over again on rainy days, and after each rumble of thunder, I close my eyes, count to three, and imagine a bolt of lightening splinter through the sky. I love thunderstorms and always have. Most kids are frightened by them, but I was more fascinated. There was a strange beauty in them, and mystery too.
“God is bowling again,” my mother once said at the start of a thunderstorm. I must’ve looked confused. “When God throws the ball, we can hear it rolling across the sky,” she explained.
I gave it some thought and then said, “So what’s the lightening for?”
“Oh, that’s just the lane lighting up every time he bowls a strike.”
“So he doesn’t bowl a strike every time?”
“No, but almost every time,” she said nonchalantly.
The explanation didn’t suffice, but what could I say? I was only a child and had no other reasoning. And plus, that’s how everything was explained to me at the time. God was always up to something. When I asked where babies came from, he was the miraculous power behind it. When I wanted to know why people died, it was because God wanted them back in heaven with him. Every good thing I had was a gift from God, and I ought to be grateful to him. What about the bad things? The scary dreams and bullies at school? Why had God given me asthma? God had his reasons, I was told. Either he was punishing me for some disobedience, or he was doing something I couldn’t understand yet. The only thing I needed to know is that all of his ways were perfect.
So maybe now you understand why I struggled with the bowling analogy. If God were so perfect, then why couldn’t he bowl a strike every time?