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:
'Father, 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?