It happened in a flash. The soft click reverberated throughout the parking lot. I was milli-seconds away from catching my thoughtless mistake. To me, the cost would be high. My keys were locked in, or rather… I was locked out.
I can count on one hand how many times I have done this in my lifetime – definitely not characterized by it. Why today? … The day I have a two-hour reprieve in the sanctuary of my car while my youngest aspires to be a ballerina.
Fighting tears of disappointment, I longingly peered through the window at my coffee, protein shake, laptop, Bible, journal, books and magazines. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid! My phone was in my hand- though pretty much useless as it indicated 7 % battery left.
Deep breathing staved off the tears as I began chatting with God. “Okay. You must have a plan. I’ll just mosey in to the dance studio and await the divine encounter you have for me.” I made myself cozy on one of the over-stuffed chairs in the lobby, ready for my moment.
Nothing. People came and went without the slightest interest in engaging in conversation.
TWO HOURS later – phone dead, body weary – Olivia emerged from her class. As we walked out the door, my rescuer veered around the corner. With a simple click, Ed unlocked my mini-van. I tried to express gratitude, not frustration over the enormous amount of time it took for him to arrive.
Coffee cold. Protein shake warm. Books unopened. Laptop packed away. Taking it all in was a reminder of the missed moments.
Texts and phone calls came in as my phone charged. Everyone wanted something, AND they wanted it done the most convenient way for THEM. Not one person asked what would work best for me. I found myself trying to accommodate all the requests. That’s when it hit me – in a little way at first, followed by a bigger revelation, followed by a practical revelation that hit me like a landslide. This was the test.
I had wanted help immediately when I locked my keys in the car. THAT’S what was best for ME. Circumstances with Ed, however, negated a different outcome. I had never really considered what was most convenient for him.
I stretched this thinking further: When I had cancer, it really was not about me. It was (and is) all about God. Instead of focusing on why me… the question has to be, “What is best for you, God?”
I took a moment to run through the difficult events in my life – mom dying, infertility, mudslide, cancer. “What was best for YOU, God?” It was a new twist on the phrase, “All for God’s glory.”
As I let these spiritual thoughts sink in, God brought my thinking back to some practical insights. I virtually never ask Eddie what would be best for him, yet I almost always expect him to be thinking that way about me. I guess I am a lot more selfish than I care to admit.
My life right now is at an all time fast-paced mode of activities and busyness. I am barely hanging on. Consequently, every time I connect with Ed, it is through the lens of him helping me. Making it all work out best for me. Helping me wrap up loose ends. Me! Me! Me! And because he is able to handle so much -so incredibly well – I just never really ask what is best for him. This was the practical, landslide revelation for me. The “where the rubber meets the road, baby” moment.
I’m selfish. I’m convicted. In a way, I’m encouraged. I’m hopeful. I’m all those things that can begin the process of change. The practical becomes the, vehicle in which God can drive me to a deeper walk of faith.
God has his work cut out for Him. Even as I write this, I’ve blown it more times than I can count on both hands… definitely characterized by self-centeredness.
Ephesians 4:22b-24 “…put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
I’m so far from that ending phrase… true righteousness and holiness. I choose to cling to God for the ride of my life. I’m giving Him the keys to my heart. I’m out of the driver’s seat (overdoing the car analogies a bit perhaps?). I don’t want to crash and burn (Okay. I’m done). Time to trade in my attitude for a new one (done for real this time).