Happy Wednesday dear friends.
After driving for 22 years (you can do the math on my age), I can proudly say that I’ve never locked my keys in my car.
Until this morning.
I went into the kids’ school to talk party stuff. Tomorrow is the big Valentine’s Day class party. I chatted with a few other teachers and was headed out the door.
Until I heard my daughter crying out to me from the front door of the school. I was *almost* to my van. She informed me that she needed money for the book fair today.
So, I did what every good parent does. I grumbled under my breath the rest of the way to my van, got my wallet, and grumbled the whole way into the school. Once there, I discovered that I had a five-dollar bill and a ten-dollar bill. No way this could be split equitably between two kids.
I stopped in the office, knowing they must be tired of seeing me already this morning, to ask if they had change. No such luck. My next stop was the book fair. I mean, after all, wasn’t the blasted book fair the whole reason I had to make a second trip into the school this morning? The least it could do for me is give me change for a ten-dollar bill, so I could split it evenly.
The volunteer working the book fair so kindly gave me 2 five-dollar bills and as I was leaving, two mothers from my daughter’s class asked what they could send in for the party tomorrow. Being so grateful for their donations, I shared with them what we still needed and continued on my way.
I made what I thought was my final stop in the school office, so they could deliver money to my children for the book fair. YAY!
As I’m just getting ready to walk out the door, I realize I don’t have my keys. Trying to play it cool to the ladies in the office, I’m all like, ‘oh gosh, I’m sure they’re in the van.’
I leave the office and walk out to my van. The walk, which normally takes 2 minutes tops, felt like an eternity. I was thinking to myself the whole way that I NEVER leave my keys in my van. Nor do I ever leave my van unlocked.
You’re a smart bunch of people, you’re my friends, after all. You know where this is going, right?
I get to my van, look in the window, and see that sure enough, my keys are in the van. In a split second, I look down and notice that the door is locked.
AWESOMESAUCE! I’m so loving my luck right now! I only had about a gazillion things on my mind for what I needed to accomplish the rest of this week.
See, my husband and I have been having some *ahem* difficulties with one of our children. I will NOT name names, but suffice to say, said child has had a little bit of an attitude lately. So, I’ve been thinking about ways we could improve things with said child.
We also have a legal situation with another child that is looming over us. I know that God already has that situation worked out for His glory, but hey, I’m human, right? And I can freak out and worry and stress with the best of them.
Also on my ‘list of worries’ is previously mentioned Valentine’s Day class party that I promised and swore to myself that I wouldn’t wait until the last. minute. to plan…but, well you know how that turned out.
Then of course, are everyone’s every day worries and concerns.
Weight. (I’m a woman, remember?)
All of these concerns and issues came together in a perfect storm to cause me to lock my keys (and my phone) in my van today.
When I realized what I had done, I called my husband from the school. I knew the odds of him answering the phone call were slim, for two reasons. First, it was an unrecognized number. Second, he was at work and I rarely catch him the first time I try to call. Typically, he sees my call and calls me back. I had to get my daughter’s iPod from her class to text him and ask him to answer my call.
He called a local tow company and they said they would be out as soon as they can. Y’all know what that means…
After waiting for over two hours, and many more trips to the office (I’m CERTAIN the lovely ladies in the office were really ready for me to go), they finally showed up to unlock my van. During this two hours, I endured multiple well-meaning individuals sharing with me how I might be able to avoid this fate in the future.
Also while waiting, not so patiently, for my rescuer to come, I did some thinking. I thought about how, when we are in the waiting rooms of life, we typically don’t wait patiently. Most of the time, we are trying to figure out how we can get out of our current situation as soon as possible, with the least amount of pain.
As I was waiting, it occurred to me that God might just want us to chill for a while…or two hours…
We might need to learn something in that waiting room.
Perhaps He is keeping us from something worse.
Perhaps He is keeping us from something better, simply because we’re not ready.
Perhaps He has us there because we are going to encounter someone else in that same waiting room and we can positively impact their life. Or vice versa. Maybe we need someone to be a positive influence in our life.
My point here is that, if I had my books or my laptop (or even my phone) with me when I locked myself out of my van, it wouldn’t have accomplished the same mission.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with reading or, in my case, writing, to pass the time, it would have distracted me from the lesson God wanted me to learn. The hard lesson learned.
That patience is a virtue. And one that doesn’t come easily or without cost. (To the tune of $68, as a matter of fact.)
One further point I would like to make is from a book I recently started reading called Your Sacred Yes by Susie Larson. The subtitle to her book is ‘Trading Life-Draining Obligation for Freedom, Passion, and Joy.’ You can assume that this book was written to help free us from saying YES to everything that comes our way. Instead, we should select only those activities that He has called us to.
In her introduction, she says this, “Life is a gift. Time is a treasured commodity. When we open our hands and give what we have to Jesus–be it our moments, our gifts, our time, or simply room and space for Him to show up–we find life to be a sacred journey.”
This spoke volumes to me. When was the last time you had whitespace in your schedule? Whether it was for a lesson learned the hard way or whether it was to sit with your grandmother helping her figure out her phone–without having to rush to the next thing?
Either way, we all need to determine what our sacred YES is, so that we can truly be open to the nudgings of the Holy Spirit in our lives.