Monday, January 28, 2008
You know how God deals with you about certain things at certain times? You know, how you can recognize that you're taking tests (and failing them) when the same annoying things keep happening over and over and over?
Well. Lately my tests have been of the Realizing Things Don't Always Go As Planned variety. Tons of times these past few months I have planned that things will go a certain way (uh, like, my way) and yet they (surprise, surprise) go a whole other way.
Like yesterday. It was Naomi's birthday (I have a 28-year-old daughter now. I can't believe it, especially since I only feel 28, myself.). So since she and Carl were coming over in the afternoon, I shoveled all the sidewalks, but only salted the sidewalk leading out to the back of the house where I assumed they'd park again this time.
They parked out front, instead. sigh. At the door, Carl volunteered to salt the front sidewalk because it was very, very icy. Their faces had that "We just barely survived your icy sidewalk" look.
Ok, that sounds small, but when that sort of thing happens everyday for awhile--and I let it get me all frustrated ("Why can't I do things right the first time? Why do things always go the opposite of how I thought they'd go?"), well, I can be certain I am facing tests. And they will not go away until I begin passing them. Until I just realize people are gonna do what they're gonna do and it probably won't be what I would have done.
As in, Tom will bring home dessert from work on the day I spent an hour making a special dessert at home.
Or I'll be at the supermarket, I'll hold a bag of rice in my hand and think, "Oh, I'm sure we've got enough rice at home so I'll put this back." Then I'll get home and discover we are completely riceless.
Or the recyclers will come for weeks and weeks at 7:00 a.m. and the one day I don't put our recycling bin out by 6:00, they come at 6:00, instead.
Like I said, tiny stuff, but it can add up to lots of frustration if I let it.
So here's what I'm learning: Expect that things will probably not go the way I planned. Expect that I will make mistakes and will forget things--and other people will, too.
Now, I'm not saying I go around expecting bad things to happen. No way! You all know I'm too Pollyanna-ish for that. I mean, there are different kinds of faith--faith that your life will be good and faith that it will turn out bad.
I choose to believe for the good.
But what I'm also believing in--for my own sanity and so that I'll stop complaining--is that I'll be patient in times when things get tweaked/switched around/screwed-up/shaken-up. And with that expectation, I can relax. I can keep my sense of humor and just roll my eyes and smile. And recall all the times before when my plans weren't nearly as good as the ones God planned for me, instead.