“Oh where is my hairbrush, oh where is my hairbrush, oh where, oh where, oh where ….”
Like 60 million other parents, we have memorized every song from all the Veggie Tales VHS tapes and DVDs. (We had kids in both eras.) Apparently, we are in good company. One in three American homes with children own them. Santa Claus even delivered the Tomato and Cucumber plush toys, card games, and puzzles over the years. They’re still upstairs in the toy basket, waiting to become “vintage” to future grandchildren.
But Phil Vischer isn’t making Veggie Tales anymore. He had to file bankruptcy. Bob and Larry have retired. Big Idea Productions is gone. Vischer’s dream died. And I’m sure he felt the vacuum, the emptiness. Not to mention the confusion.
It was a dream Vischer thought was God-ordained and God-approved. Spiritual lessons given to children in ways they could relate and understand. With amazing animation and humor that captivated even the parents.
So what happened?
I recently had the privilege of attending a conference where Vischer was a speaker. When someone with real-life wounds makes himself vulnerable enough to mine a lesson out of the hole he’s been in, I want to listen.
To hear Vischer talk about it, he refers to the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4. The woman is described as a wealthy married woman. Elisha often passed her way in his travels, and he stayed in her guest room. Elisha asked how he could help the woman in return for her hospitality, and learned that she had no children and her husband was very old. Elisha told her she would have a son by that time next year.
The prophecy, the unlikely dream, was fulfilled, and the woman had a child.
But the story was not over. Several years later, the child became ill, and he died that same day in his mother’s arms. The Shunammite woman felt the vacuum for sure. Then Elisha returned and brought the boy back to his mother.
But sometimes the unlikely dream is fulfilled and then it dies, and it doesn’t come back to life, at least in our lifetimes. Our success, our child, our health can vanish and never return. Where is God in that? We can wonder if we were ever tracking with God at all.
Vischer’s interpretation is that our good God sometimes allows a good dream, an unselfish dream, a God-given dream, to die. If that dream does die, God wants to see what is most important to us: the dream or Him. (Remember The Bunny Song?)
We may get it back or we may not. We may, indeed, live the rest of our lives without that once-fulfilled dream. But that’s ok, because we will still have God: an Everlasting and Infinite God.
Somehow for me it is easy to believe that God is infinite. At least part of infinite.
He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent (all-pervading). God is timeless, having no beginning and no end. But it is not always so easy to believe that He is enough. I still find myself wanting more.
There’s a reason I haven’t, after all these years, been able to find that “more.”
When my children were around three or four, they tended to get into a love-off with me. I love you to the moon and back. When they started teaching the concept of infinity in Kindergarten, they amped it up. I love you to infinity. Then it became I love you to infinity plus infinity. Once multiplication made sense: I love you infinity times infinity. (Obviously, too much Silly Songs with Larry.)
By the time middle school hit, and they could understand that infinity plus or times anything is still infinity, they stopped saying it to me. (Bummer.)
God is complete infinity: His love, His care, His existence, His very nature. When we have him, we have everything. We have infinity. Nothing more can be added to make it greater. Our Christian neighbor may have her spouse, her health, her dream still intact. But she has no more than we do.
How does that work?
Even living with chronic illness, I still have everything, because His infinite nature takes up any vacuum I may feel in my own scarred, incomplete life. Sometimes the dream God placed in our hearts and then in our hands dies and doesn’t come back to us. But if He is more important than the dream, our unlimited, personal God fills in the gaps, and we still have everything.
Vischer says it best, “He who has anything plus God has no more than he who has God alone.”
Because anything plus infinity is still infinity.
Somehow I am envisioning a carrot singing a song about this. And maybe pushing a vacuum while she’s doing it.