Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Revolt of the Household Appliances

I bet this has happened to you.
One night while you were sleeping, your household appliances had a secret meeting with your roof and your AC unit and the car in your driveway, and made a plan. MUTINY!

Forty eight hours later, before you've barely finished your second cup of coffee, tires start popping and a radiator blows, a vacuum belt snaps and smoke alarm batteries go off in an ear splitting chorus all over the house. Within the week, your home turns into a sauna and a freak hail storm tears up the roof. Even the blender you bought two years ago at the church yard sale purses its metal blades and refuses to budge!

And the money you thought you saved by spending your four days of vacation staying at your parents' house at the beach? It dribbles out in checks to repairmen, for car parts and shingles and air that won't give you heat rash in uncomfortable places.

Oh well. Tant pis, as the French say. Too bad.
Don't cry for me, Argentina. There's no Job story here.
We all have good health, a few homegrown tomatoes that the dog didn't notice, a nice time at the beach, and a (newish) roof over our heads.
Besides, what was that vacation money doing anyway? Just getting dusty in the bank, awaiting the purchase of a stack of college textbooks or new carpet that doesn't look like it spent 60 years with the seven dwarfs. (Pre- Snow White.)

You know what Woody Allen says about the future, right?
If you want to make God laugh, just tell him about your plans.

Yep, we can plan all we want, but what happens, happens.
It's my nature to be against this. I like security. Don't you?
I want to be the ant, storing up food for the winter while the grasshopper plays his fiddle. I wouldn't be mean about it. If the grasshopper came shivering to my door, I'd probably invite him in, let him sleep on the carpet, and only occasionally slip the consequences of fiddle playing into conversation. I'd I'd even share my ant food, within reason.

But a few mornings ago, I read anew the story of God's people wandering through the desert, the sad lot of newly freed slaves, so hungry and tired that they began to whine about forgetting this freedom thing and running back to Egypt, where they could get a decent meal once in a while.
What fascinated me most about the story was how God chose to send them bread from the sky. They could collect only what they could eat each day, and if they sneaked a little extra to save for the next, it rotted and got wormy.
This made me laugh.
God's just like a parent!
The kids needed to learn to depend on Him daily, so He finally took control, walking them through exactly what He wanted for them, step by step-just like we do when our kids get stubborn and refuse to use the potty or sleep in a big girl bed or come home in time for curfew! After much patience and encouragement, we finally take away the pull ups or dismantle the crib or take away the rights to the car, and say, "Here you go, honey. This is how you do it. Mommy's going to help you."

The passage in Exodus (chapter 16, if you want to read more about the manna) also made me think about how often I live in the future, thinking of the bread for tomorrow, instead of enjoying the bread on the table. I think about how happy I'll be once my next book sells, or I get the job, or my kids move out of one stage into the next, instead of soaking in my happiness right where I am.
Planning is fine, but this is life. I need to live it now, not waste my time living in the future.

Maybe that's part of what Jesus was trying to tell us when he gave the lesson on how to pray.

He said to them, "When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread...
Luke 11:2-3, NIV

Today I'm going to try harder to put the future on the shelf and enjoy where I am. And while I'm at it, I'll thank God for my morning multigrain toast--and for a hardworking toaster that didn't bow to peer pressure!

Have a wonder-full day, y'all!
But before you go, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Is living in the moment a struggle for you too? Do you get starry eyed, wishing on the future? What keeps your balloon tethered to today?

Love, Becky


Susie said...

Idealists live in the future.a blessing (we are the dreamers of tomorrow) and a curse (many times we miss the wonder right under our noses). I feel like I have accomplished a amazing feat if I can sit on the deck in warm the sun with the bathing suited baby and marvel in her dewdropped fingers and toes. Many times, I am just looking right through her as I contemplate such things as how I need to rent a pressure washer to clean the deck boards or what to do about all of the weeds.I think that the reason that vacation is so wonderful is that we leave at home all of our possessions that we worked so hard to acquire but that weigh us down from just enjoying the world and each other.

Paula Clare said...

I've always thought of the manna as a picture of God's can't save it up, it's always there when you need it, and it is will sustain you.

Graceful said...

Oh my, I am the WORST live in the moment girl on earth. But blogging and photography have helped me keep my eyes open to God's gifts in the everyday. I am learning...but it's a steep learning curve!

Jean Wise said...

This post is sooooo good and soooo true!. I have decided to still plan ahead - I think God wired me that way so won't fight it - but hold all things, including the future lightly up to Him daily. Let go and quit clinging is my daily prayer.

Great post.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Love your comments, girls.
Sometimes in my search for wonders I do miss the ones closest to me. Crazy, but true. So Susie and Michelle, I completely get what you're saying.
Paula Clare, I love that grace is there when I need it.
And I find it interesting that even though we didn't get to make that summer trip to Washington DC that we wanted to, if we had, we wouldn't have been prepared when all that stuff needed to be repaired. Often things have a funny way of working out.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hey Jean, didn't see you there.
Yep, I think it's responsible to plan, especially if you're a natural born planner. But I love what you say, "hold all things, including the future lightly up to Him daily. Let go and quit clinging." Perfect.

Susan said...

What a nice post. I have no children to let loose, but I have recently had to learn to let my hubby go out in the world without me. We have been joined at the hip for twenty some years and recently he has been going on overnight trips with friends to do things that are fun (to him, but not me). I have always been one to try and guess or worry what the future holds for us, good or bad. Knowing that my hubby is a safe, smart, faithful man, makes the manna God sends, taste even sweeter as I watch my hubby pack an overnight bag.

Amy Sullivan said...

I love the picture as it goes perfectly with your post!

Our jeep, fridge, and dryer are all working against us at this time...ugh!

Enjoying the now is always difficult for me, but my kids seem to keep me in the moment.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Well, I was living in the day just fine until my husband shared a plan of his that will definitely impact our finances. Making me start to worry about the future a little. And worry means I better pray.

Clella said...

Thanks for this post! Reminds me who is really in charge of my world. And I loved the quote about God laughing at our plans. He knows the plans He has for us even while we are planning the day. I once put a sign above my computer that read "GOD'S GOD AND I'M NOT".At that point in time I needed to be reminded. thanks for a well-written clever post.

Beth Mithen said...

Becky, I awake each morning assured that I will be able to enjoy a great laugh AND a thought provoking message from you! I can always relate to your postings. Yesterday was the AC relay switch and brake pads in one car, today a sputtering engine in another, refrigerator is collecting water all over!!! Do I have difficulty living for the moment? You read my blog so you KNOW I do. Some have even nicknamed me MarthaBeth! Thankfully, God sends me regular reminders ! Keep writing! You make my day!

Laura said...

"Put the future on the shelf" -- I like that!

I'm big on security, too -- love those plans. When He dashes them though, and takes you on a ride, it's pretty awesome.

Laura said...

Meant to mention "The Brave Little Toaster." We wore that tape out here, years ago. Loved the picture!

Anonymous said...

Living in the moment is one of the biggest challenges I face. I'm a planner, which has served me well in many ways, and I survived some difficult years by looking to the future and trusting that the difficulties would someday pass. So in that respect, looking to the future has been helpful. But in other ways, especially where the future is uncertain, fretting about tomorrow just wastes a lot of energy! I've been working on living in the present.

Jenn Hubbard