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The plan stuck with me as I navigated I-35, and I pulled off onto the exit and then into the parking lot. The line was wrapped around McDonald's. I grunted and then pulled into a parking spot.
And then I paused. I was already running late. And my eyes were not drooping.
Instead of turning off the car, I shifted into reverse and then left the parking lot. No coffee in hand.
Every now and then, I think God uses His sense of humor to speak to me in situations like this. I see it as His way of reminding to let go of my expectations, to let go of my desire for these worldly things. Coffee is fine, yes, but it's better when made at home (or replaced by a homemade chai tea latter). Picking up an iced coffee from McDonald's is all right in moderation, but when money is tight and I am praying for a way for it to be not so tight, I need to let go of the comforts I think I deserve all the time.
I go back and forth on this. I want the comforts of this life. Even though I know they are just comforts and not necessities. And sometimes my want of the comforts of the life take over, and I lose sight of the important things.
Because I do want to enjoy the simple things in life. And I do want to live a more simplistic lifestyle. I hope that my everyday story will reflect His story. Only I want all of this on my own terms, and that just isn't the way it works.
My husband and I sponsor a child in Haiti through Compassion International. It's a pledge we made early on in our marriage. Letters from our child hang on the refrigerator, and I write him through email or by putting pen to paper. A week ago, I considered discontinuing our sponsorship of him.
It would be an extra $32 in our bank account. And is this something we can really afford? Thinking back now I realize how selfish and ridiculous it would have been to end the sponsorship. Maybe if things were really tight. In the sense of there was no income entering our bank account. But right now when I want extra breathing room to make the purchases I deem important?
Thank goodness it is not an easy point and click process to end a sponsorship. Thank goodness that just days later we received a letter from the child we sponsored. And thank goodness I have a husband who would have told me I was wrong and then re-sponsored the child had I successfully ended the sponsorship.
I have this lie circulating in my head that I shouldn't have to suffer. That things should just come easily. It's a lie I battle every day as I remind myself that suffering will only make us stronger. It's a lie I battle every day as I tell myself that God has a plan and that He will use all of this for my good and His glory. And it is a lie I (try to) combat by reminding myself that God loves me enough to not just give me all the things I want. He wants me to learn how to work for things, and He wants me to understand what struggle is so that I can later on show compassion to others who struggle.
I've also bought into the lie that comfort is important. Of the utmost importance. It's a lie I think we as a country as we as a generation buy into. We want the most up to date technology. We look for the easiest way to cook, to shop, to do everything.
And comfort is not the most important thing. Vacations are important, yes. Rest is necessary. We do all deserve a break at some point, yes. But this idea that comfort will take care of everything is nothing but a lie. It sets us all up for failure and frustration when we are unable to achieve the amount of comfort we feel like we should.
For me, it has to do with vacations. I want a chance to go to the beach, to sip drinks on the beach and sleep in as late as I want. I want to jump on a plane and fly to Michigan or California at the drop of a hat. It also has to do with things. I want a new computer. I want a different couch for my living room. I want things that I already have, but I would prefer to have the better kind of thing.
So God used a long line at McDonald's to remind me that I do not need of any of these things. He used the $2 I didn't spend on an iced vanilla coffee to remind me that I need a shift in my perspective.
The question now is what do I do. First, I continue to get out of my own way. I also continue to stop making excuses. And I remind myself every morning what is important (and what is not). And then I leave the rest up to Him. Because I'm not in control of anything.
Has God ever given you a change of perspective?
(title from "hands" by jewel)