Thursday, October 16, 2008

God Won, I Lost, But I Might Have Learned A Lesson Anyway...

On Sunday, September 28, here was my schedule:
--7:45AM: Rise, work on shining
--9:00AM: Leave for Church
--9:30AM: Teach my middle schoolers, coffee (aka, the elixir of life) in hand
--10:45AM: Rush to wrap up my class on time (I really love to talk, and I really love to teach about the Bible--a deadly combo for those poor kiddos!!)
--11:05AM: Arrive late, as usual, to worship after catching up with my high school girls &/or parents of youth.
--12:25PM: Church ends, and I uncharacteristically rush out the door
--12:45PM: I'm the last arrival for lunch with a couple from the church where I work (not the same as the one I attend). They are hosting our (single) guest artist from our Friday night organ concert. I suspect a tiny push in the set-up department, but manage to simply be pleasant and avoid the rest.
--2:30PM: Go to the grocery store to pick up the snacks for our guest artists for that evening's concert. These include 8 brass players in addition to the aforementioned organist--all guys. I get lots of food.
--3:15PM: Arrive at work, only to find that my boss did the one thing I was really pushing to arrive early in order to accomplish. Used the time wisely on other work, and all was well.
--5:00PM: Set up meal for artists
--5:30PM: Make sure artists and Maestro (what I jokingly call my boss) are all on time. Wander, greeting guests and making sure the ushers have enough programs, etc.
--6:00PM: Make sure everyone is in their places before plopping down in my seat. Enjoy an hour of gorgeous worship and find myself anxious to get to heaven, as that's the only place I can imagine that it will be better.
--7:00PM: Begin clean-up.
--8:00PM: Begin proofing the church newsletter, as I promised the secretary I would leave her an edited copy by Monday, but have now decided to take Monday off.
--8:45PM: Arrive at home and, in a decidedly uncharacteristic fashion, immediately change into my PJs.
--8:50PM: Talk to my roomie/BF, who says she's going elsewhere to watch the football games since I am not in a football kinda mood.
--8:53PM: Hear the most awful crash, screech, and bang just outside my window...

And that's when the day unravels.

My car, parked innocently (and legally, and safely) on the street in front of my house has just been hit by a slightly (? or more...?) intoxicated woman who was talking on her cell phone while her dog jumped around in her car. Or at least, that's what I reconstructed from the ensuing conversations.

The story is long, and difficult, and tiresome to even recall more-or-less to recount or read, so I won't bore you (additionally, that is. *wink*). I will say that it became much more involved and complicated than any other accident I've ever been involved with. Therefore, I began to pray two things:
1.) God, give me wisdom! (If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. --James 1:5)
2.) God, make this about Your kingdom.

#2 is obvious, but #1 was a desperate need. The situation grew so complicated that I felt completely out of my depth. I ask God to just give me the kind of wisdom (some translations use the term cunning) that Scripture says He uses with His enemies. It was that challenging.

So...two and a half weeks later, the dust finally settled this morning. It felt complicated, and it took a long time, but at the end of it all...I heard myself grousing. :-( It was not a pretty thing to hear. I was grousing about my fears (not reality), about reality, about people, about circumstances--all the things that swirled around me in this scenario.

And here is what I realized: God did EXACTLY what I had asked Him to do, at least on #1. (#2 remains to be seen.) In every scenario, though clearly un-life-skilled for these kinds of negotiations, God guided me. Every issue &/or wall that came up, I knew exactly what to do at the exact right moment (though not earlier). And as I heard myself grouse, I realized that God had fulfilled His end of the bargain. He really did give me wisdom!

And then I realized that while I had started strong--and remained so for about two weeks--in the end, I had not behaved or believed as a child of The Omnipotent God should have. I ended up doubting the outcome, worrying about the process, and--and I am most ashamed of this--defaming the participants.

In the race to behave righteously, God won and I lost. Of course, God always wins. But this particular race is structured such that others (in Christ) can win too. That was the finish line I didn't cross.

Perhaps this observation is a win of sorts, however. I recognize where I went wrong, and why. I ceased to keep my needs before Him and tried to work it out myself. A classic case of the storm sucking you under, no? Perhaps, next time, I'll hold out for right behavior all the way to the finish line. I think I'll make that a goal.

But perhaps 'next time' doesn't have to involve a car accident? I think that would be nice... *wink*

But a traveler on life's journey,

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
--Matthew 14:22-33, NIV

(c) 2008

1 comment:

Rachel said...

From what I know about this situation, I think you did a great job. Maybe I don't know the entire thing, but it sounds like you were nice to them at this time. That shows a lot to anyone.

If you are like Peter, than that is still awesome. He doubted and fell, but he still got out of the boat and walked on water.