Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Are We There Yet? Don't Make Me Pull This Car Over...
I had a conversation with my Dad earlier today that has got me thinking.
He told me a story about his first car. He said that he was so proud of it and washed it so many times it was a wonder the paint didn’t come off. He babied it and took care of it and wow, how it shined! It was a car most of the kids around him would’ve killed for. A couple years later, though, he came across a new Jeep and it was all he could think about. He wanted that Jeep and he started not paying as much attention to the car he was sitting in. He would daydream about driving the new car - how it would feel to drive and what he would look like in it and soon the car he was in didn’t impress him quite as much.
Was it wrong for my dad to want the new Jeep? Of course it wasn’t, and the thing of it is, God might have had that Jeep planned for him all along. It wasn’t wrong for him to want to “upgrade” and enjoy something else. We are always supposed to rest in the knowledge that God has wonderful things in store for us (Jeremiah 29:11). What Dad did do wrong, though, was stop being so impressed with the car he was in. He stopped washing it quite as much and appreciating that he was pretty blessed to have it. He forgot that until that new Jeep was his, he was still sitting pretty in something that most others couldn’t even dream of having.
You know that saying - the one that goes, “until God opens a new door for you, praise Him in the hallway?” That one. I haven’t been doing that very well lately. Rather thanking Him for my hallway’s warmth and light and that it is keeping the rain off my head and giving me a cozy place to dwell, I have been pacing up and down its length. I’ve been gnawing off my fingernails and jittering my knees up and down wondering if the quarter I dropped in the machine will give me a prize or not. I’ve been wondering when that door is going to open and stopping every few minutes to try the knob again.
I am ready for a change, and I know that God knows that. I know that He has something coming down the pipe for me. I know that there is something new on the horizon that will fit me better than where I am now. I know that it is making its way to me... but I am not meant to be watching for it. I am not meant to have my face pressed up against the glass waiting for it to appear down the road so I can run outside and claim it.
You know what that does? That takes the control and trusting of Him right out of the equation. It puts the fretting and toe-tapping into the situation and both of those things are indicators of a lack of peace. God’s way is peace and if I’m not experiencing it, then there’s a pretty good chance that it isn’t His will for me to be so anxious. Rather than fretting I need to be resting and staying still in His presence, not be sitting here acting like a sugared-up toddler in a waiting room. I am supposed to be at peace right where He has me this minute - despite knowing and hoping that there is something new coming my way.
It isn’t wrong for me to anticipate and wait for the change to come. It isn’t wrong for me to have hope and look forward to the new opportunities that a change will bring to me - namely security - but it is wrong to lose sight of the fact that even if nothing happens, I am one lucky twenty-*cough* year old. I am blessed to have a home and food and be healthy. I am lucky that I am not facing what so many others out there in the world are dealing with.
Today as I sat here and processed the point my dad was making to me I realized that I owed God an apology.
Father, I am sorry for forgetting the beautiful blessings that you have in front of me right this minute. I am sorry that I was tempted to lose sight of the fact that you have your hand over me and have given me all that I have. Please forgive me for looking too far ahead and becoming impatient with You. I know that it is OK for me to be happy about the new things you are bringing to me, but it is not OK for it to take over my focus. Thank you, Jesus, for all that you have in my life right now and thank you for the people you have put into it to remind me of those facts when I forget them. Thank you for knowing me and teaching me a new lesson today that will help me to bask in Your peace even more in the future.
Arriving at your destination isn’t a bad desire to have but until you get there, take in the view. Worship while you're waiting.