To say that this last week has been full would be an understatement. It is a lot of work to have a child graduate from high school.
But then there is the unexpected that inevitably happens, adding stress to this already stressful time in a parent’s life.
For us the added stress came on Thursday night. Thursday night was “Scholarship Night” at the high school. Naturally the grandparents were here for the graduation festivities.
My parents were staying in a local hotel (their choice). Since “Scholarship Night” tends to run a little late, they were following us in their rental car. Rachel was riding to the school with them and Monica’s parents were with me and Monica.
We had to wait to make the turn off of Main onto Country Club Road. Almost as soon as we started the turn, we heard an unmistakable BAM!
My parents (and Rachel) had been rear-ended. We turned around and went back. I called the police. Monica’s dad, my dad, and I arrived at “Scholarship Night” just in time to see Rachel receive her Harding scholarships (I explained the situation to the dispatcher I talked to and she said that, since there were no injuries, Rachel and my mom could go on to the school...which sort of upset the responding officer, but he took their information, along with my dad’s, and we were allowed to go).
So my parents spent many of the few free moments during their stay talking with various people on the phone (insurance company, rental car company, etc.).
My purpose in telling you this is that many times we have plans. We know what we want to do. We know when we want to do it. We know who we want to do it with. But then something happens to disrupt our “best laid plans” and they “often go awry.”
But there were somethings for which we can be thankful. We didn’t really miss anything of importance (to us) on Thursday. Other than when they were on the phone, my parents were able to have a nice visit with us. None of the phone calls prevented them from attending events this past weekend. Most importantly nobody was hurt in the accident.
So the next time you make plans and something happens to disrupt them, don’t get mad, just look for things to be thankful about and realize that with God’s help you can adapt to a change in plans.
I’ve got some GREAT news: my wireless phone service is eligible for a fantastic upgrade! For just a few dollars a month more, I can…then, if I switch to (satellite TV provider’s name here) I can “save” even more. You’ve probably heard the same sales pitch.
I still don’t see how paying more is “saving me money.” In addition, my experience with satellite TV is that if it rains, the signal is lost...hardly beneficial in case we need information about the weather.
Twice in the past we have switched from cable to a satellite TV provider. Both times we were assured that what we had heard (the first time) and experienced (the second time) about losing the signal when it rained was untrue or had been corrected. Both times we were told that when the introductory rate expired, our bill would “stay pretty much the same.”
Both times we bought into a lie! (If you are a satellite TV customer and are content with your service, please don’t take offense: I’m only sharing my experience.)
Recently I was contemplating taking advantage of this ‘fantastic offer.” The were even offering me a $200 bribe...I mean incentive...to switch from cable to satellite. They almost had me...I almost bought it hook, line, and sinker.
But then I remembered my past experience with the exact same satellite company. I remembered the signal loss during rain (not even storms, just a light rain) and that the introductory rate did stay about the same (except I paid for almost two months of service at a time and only received one month of service).
So remembering past experiences helped keep me from making a poor decision. It kept me from trading a short term gain for long term trouble.
Satan works just like that. He promises us that his way is “just as good” as God’s way...in fact it’s even “better.” His way is more “fun.” His way is more “socially acceptable.” His way is so much “less expensive!”
He doesn’t mention the loss of signal problems. He doesn’t tell you that in the end it will only cost you your soul.
Please allow me to whine for a moment…
My knees really hurt.
My back is killing me.
My legs feel like I just ran a marathon (I guess, I’ve never actually run a marathon, nor do I have that desire).
My whole body is aching.
Why do I feel this way? (Thanks for asking!) Because I spent most of Monday and part of Tuesday helping Linn Rice and Curtis Kinsey put a new floor in the living room of our house. Then spent a few hours on Tuesday night painting baseboards.
Now I am pretty well sore from head to toe. It hurts to walk; it hurts to stand still. Sitting is OK, provided I don’t have to move or stand up quickly.
As I contemplated staying in bed this morning, a thought occurred to me. There is a song that we sing from time to time called “Heaven Will Surely be Worth it All.”
I was thinking about how much I hurt...but now we have a new floor in our living room. The 26 year old carpet with its stains and blemishes (all 300 pounds of it) can be forgotten as we enjoy the new, luxury vinyl plank flooring.
As I looked at it from this perspective, suddenly the soreness and stiffness seemed to fade (the mind is a very powerful tool). Instead of focusing on the pain, I was focusing on the pleasurable possibilities. It made the pain worthwhile.
This gave me a new appreciation for what James has to say in James 1:2-4 about considering it “all joy when we face trials of many kinds.”
How can we count trials, troubles, and suffering as joy? When we focus on what is waiting for us. Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God is able to do “far more abundantly than all we ask or think.”
When we face soreness and/or stiffness (either physical or spiritual) what we need to remember is that “Heaven Will Surely be Worth it All.” Just a nanosecond in heaven will make all of the pain and suffering worthwhile.