Rubik’s Cubes are making a comeback.
I don’t know if that’s true nationwide, but I see a lot of kids with Rubik’s Cubes when I substitute at our high school. There are the classic ones that I remember from the early 80s as well as new variations, from small, 4x4 Cubes to all kinds of different sizes and shapes (Rubik’s Octagons? Tetrahedrons? I’m not sure what they’re called.)
I remember playing with a Rubik’s Cube when I was a kid and trying to figure out how to solve it. There were books written to help guide you into trying to understand the algorithms needed to get all of the colors together. I never could figure out how to do it, short of peeling off the stickers and putting them back on – which wrecks the cube, but by that point you’re too frustrated with the stupid thing to care!
My good friend Evan Olson, who is in seventh grade, is a pro at solving them. He even demonstrated for me solving a Rubik’s Cube with his eyes closed! How he did that still baffles me. All I know is that if I get my hands on a cube and need help – which I no doubt will – he is the first person I’ll go to for guidance.
It strikes me that our lives are, at least in some ways, like a Rubik’s Cubes. It’s easy to get twisted around and messed up. So you try to back up and retrace your steps to put everything back into order, but you just end up more twisted up and confused. You keep trying and trying to solve the mess you’ve gotten yourself into, but you end up just getting more and more frustrated and more and more messed up. You might even try to cheat, which only ends up wrecking your life more.
We’ve all been there.
It’s not until we’re willing to admit that we need help and that we are unable to solve our problems ourselves that we can get the guidance we need. It’s only when we allow others to come alongside that we finally begin to get our lives back into some type of order.
We resist that for some reason. There’s a spirit of fierce independence in us that, unfortunately, often leads to isolation. But that’s not the way we were created to operate. God says that “It is not good for a person to be alone.” We were created for community – to journey together and to help each other.
That’s one of the brilliant things about the church. Going to church is not about having to go in order to fulfill some religious duty. A big part of what the church is about is finding other people who can walk with us and help us out when we need it. Because we all have times when our lives feel like a messed-up Rubik’s Cube.
Rob Spahr is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church.