Ok, so I haven't been vacationing at Fantasy Island, but I have always wanted to go there. Beautiful scenery, you don't have to cook, story morals of self discovery carefully packaged within a neat time frame.
My self discovery, usually lubricated with tears and snot, happens only when I take on the appearance of a possessed woman, as the whites of my eyes are bright red which contrast sharply with my green irises, and I am fully exhausted from trying to out maneuver life (or God. Maybe that is why I so identify with Jonah!).
Today was that kind of day.
Terry and I had been on a really peaceful holiday in Myrtle Beach this past weekend. Serenity level was 8 on scale of 1 to 10. (I cannot reach a 10 because unlike my husband, my brain doesn't shut off, as evidenced by the multiple text messages to friends and family.) Barely out of South Carolina, the serenity level took a dip: I forgot our pillows. I like to take my pillows when I go away. Usually I even bring a blanket tho I restrained myself.
So, mentally, I bade my pillows goodbye (tho, dang, those cases were part of a set!) and I focused on some of the relaxing parts of the trip. Like those blueberry pancakes at the Sea Captain's. Serenity level evened out at about a 6 when I started dozing, noticing but refusing to dwell on the lost pillows.
Until Washington D.C.
The computer obviously hasn't driven 95 for a long time because it had me looking for roads that weren't on the signs. I hadn't eaten since breakfast (bad move), and I kept startling awake because I dreamnt I fell or I snorted myself awake (yes, I snore and I am not ashamed about it because I would sleep just fine if we shared a tent).
I couldn't find my way. I am the navigator, which tho I hate the pressure, I do appreciate because I am terribly afraid of driving over bridges. Most of the time it seems like a reasonable arrangement, and my map reading skills have improved considerably in the 18 years we have been married.
We ended up on the outer loop, not with the directions. I found our way around with the map we brought, but I was mad. I was mad at myself. I let my husband down. I got us lost. I should've had the local map open to find those routes.
Yeah, tho I thought some of those things, what happened was Ms. Hell Cat made an appearance hissing, "Why didn't you just reverse the directions
?!" and "I should've made sure the directions matched so you wouldn't get us lost!"
At some point my blood pressure lowered enough that I could understand I was reacting to shame that I needn't own. Reminded me of class last week...
I had an awesome idea for a presentation. Since I was doing a "hook" to capture the attention of middle school students on my passage from James 1:13-19, I wanted to use mouse traps to illustrate how the mouse trap and bait offer only death to the mouse in the same way a sin trap, baited with our desires of lust, power, greed, or chemical nirvana, offers us the same. I was excited, and I felt like I could pull it off. Because I am not fond of public speaking, I prayed that God might use this moment, do His thing.
It was a mess. The traps wouldn't set. The men, many like middle school boys, wouldn't wait to let me see if I could fix it for them. I became flustered and blanked, pulling things barely together.
Although a classmate congratulated me on my presentation, I was sure he was just trying to be nice. In fact, for 2 days, I was mad and obsessed about this stupid presentation. It should've been the best! If I can't do that, maybe I should just quit. Maybe I shouldn't even try to speak or teach. Maybe I will only ever be a marginal writer.
On the second day, it hit me. It wasn't my idea or the traps or circumstance, it was God's fault!!! He did it! I resolved to not pray before presentations again.
(I chuckle as I write it, but I really did think that.)
Back on the highway, I prayed, yeah, with the kind of attitude that first starts "Why did you marry me to him?!" but then finds that quiet voice.
I remembered being on the balcony in the early morning. Terry is not an early riser, but I like to pray with then the best. As I was praying, I was thinking of a friend. He is not musically inclined. He doesn't carry a tune unless it is in a bag, and he doesn't find the rhythm unless he stumbles upon it. He is a person that people look to for leadership, tho. And, when you see him singing and clapping off beat, you are freer to worship. That person is truly humble and serves thru it.
Ugh...it hits...the pride that I suffer with...how silly and sneaky! I would like to be more like my friend, but I struggle with being competent, sufficient. And yet, that little voice that always knows the answers before I do asks, "How can God's grace be sufficient, if you can take care of yourself? How will they see Him if you are so able?"
Alright! My surrender begins. It isn't complete until the next day of course, since I found I had a few more zigs and zags in me. But He always has more...
Isn't that what infinity is all about? More than me?
Need to go to Kmart now for some more pillows...