"But He, in Himself, after a fashion which we can neither describe nor conceive, predestinating all things, formed them as He pleased, bestowing harmony on all things...
in this way, in short, He formed all things that were made by His Word that never wearies".
I've carried it around for most of my adult life - a little green card that says I'm disabled. Most of the time, I forget about it, and most of the people I meet everyday probably never see me that way, but in my case it's something that's been true since birth, and there are mornings where I really know it's true.
It's like that in all kinds of ways in life - we suddenly find ourselves facing a trail or a circumstance which leaves us way out of our depth, but what do we do in that moment?
Sometimes, we can see things coming. I can recall my visit to America in 2005, and the friend I was staying with telling me in no uncertain terms that the growing 'sub prime fiasco' was going to wreak havoc on the global economy.
Occasionally, perhaps because of hindsight from another event, we correctly read part of what's shaping up and can thereby anticipate what's required next. A good sailor, I'm told, can tell in many cases what the wind is probably going to do, and what that means for the day at sea.
It's useful to be a good judge of such things, but however good a prospector we may be, life will always have something up ahead that catches us out - because of who and what we are.
The tendency of human nature is to put everything into a box - a scheme entitled 'modernism' or 'secularism' or a plethora of others; whatever 'suit' we think will fit the moment, but at the end of the day, our Politically Correct 'dress codes' will leave us bare before the harsh realities we all face, for they contain no remedy.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, as Christianity wrangled with the belief that the physical was irrelevant, Irenaeus sought to guide our view beyond such trends to a touchstone that will leave us awe-struck when truly realized.
Beyond the meager limitations of our defining, our scheming, our oh so real frustrations, there is the revelation of the Word (John 1:1).
It's really worth doing sometime - sit down with your study guides and begin unpack what this definition of the character and nature of God is seeking to express to us - it's astonishing.
Of course the amazement does not end there - this Word was made flesh, and because of this, the 'stuff' we inhabit and are made of will not be forever bound to futility and frustration, but will be liberated from such misery and decay.
It certainly gets harder to do things as we get older (except have a good moan, perhaps!), but the truly good news is that there is genuine hope for our poor race and this maligned world we inhabit.
It may be hard to start tomorrow, but it may help to see each day as a moment heralding that great redemption - an opportunity for us to truly see, to taste, to know, the glory of the one revealed as the Word.