Friday, February 12, 2010

the clock

I am so happy. So darned happy.

Happiness is not joy, but sometimes choosing joy will lead to a strange realization: hey, I'm happy. It's a splendid thing.

A friend of mine whose family is going through a very difficult time right now told me a story about how they had been praying God would answer several prayers - several big prayers - and were feeling rather neglected. Then one day, they left a really expensive, really sentimental clock on an airplane. Sounds like a random sidenote, but losing that clock sort of put them over the edge. We all get there: that place where things seemed, moments before, to have descended as far as they could possibly go, and then... you lose the clock. Frantic, they called the airline, they made every effort to track it down, but ultimately - nothing. Something prompted them to utter a prayer - God, help us find that stupid thing - and then, back to reality. Back to bigger problems.

A few weeks later, still no "major" prayers answered, a phone call; it's the airline, and, "ma'am, we have your clock". What did my friend's mother say to God that day? "About time, Lord"? No. She simply said, "Well, it's not financial stability or perfect health, but Lord, I'll take it. Thank You." I'll take it. Sometimes it's the downward spiral that forces our eyes upward.

I loved that story. Every day, God wants us to "open our mouths so He can fill them" (Psalm 81:10). Sometimes we get so concerned with what He's going to give us, we just plain forget to open up. He may not give us exactly what we were hoping for - but He'll give us what we need. And sometimes what we need is just to know He's still interested, He's still around, He still cares about the little things. Oh, the little things! How often they are the ones that deserve our attention, when for all the world we're convinced we'll be left behind, or left poor or sick or friendless, if we shift our allegiance from worry to wonder! This is the God who gives us fireflies, the God of summer breezes and waterfalls and daffodils and snowflakes and the crunch of autumn leaves beneath our feet! Would we all remember to breathe it in and whisper gratefully to the sky, "Father, I'll take it"...

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."
Colossians 3:14

Today, what is your 'clock'?