05 October 2012

Of Choosing Our Way

Before heading to bed last Saturday evening, a tired girl cried to us about one of umpteen things she was upset about not getting to do.  In frustration, we relayed to her all the fun things she had done – going to the science museum, watching a fire-nado (in a controlled demonstration, of course), having fun chicken for lunch, playing in the restaurant after lunch, picking out new toys with her $3 Birthday coupon from Toys R’ Us, picking a pink donut with sprinkles and eating it when we got home, playing her favorite video game and enjoying time with her brothers.

I mean, this was a fun-filled day, so jam-packed with goodness we had to cut out nap time to fit it all in (an action that was most likely leading to the current melt-down).  And, yet, as we discussed it all, she cried, not because she didn’t have fun, though she did, but because none of it was this one thing (whatever the one thing was in that particular moment) she wanted to do.

And we were angry.  Angry that we had put in so much effort and received so little appreciation.

On contemplating it all, long after the melt-down, long after the frustration had subsided and long after the sleepy girl was slumbering in her bed, I pointed out to Philip that while we had a really good day and she was able to do all these great things we had planned, she didn’t get to choose any of it. 

These were our plans.  Our plans we made with her best interest and desires in mind.  Our plans for her good, for her joy.  But still, they were ours.  They were not her plans.  Her plans were often shot down – for many good reasons, but none that she could see.  And her anger and disappointment seethed in the midst of a mound of blessings.

How often is this me? 

Throughout my life, faith has been a spiritual gift.  I know God’s way is perfect and I have sought His will at every turn.  Sometimes it took me where I wanted, sometimes I wasn’t so sure.  But still I followed.  Because I trusted His plan.

Yet, there are times when I look back and I wonder.  What if?

What if I had followed my plans? 

Sometimes there’s a small tug in my heart for my past.  The paths untraveled.  And, unfocused on the hoard of blessings surrounding me, I look beyond it all to the one thing beyond my grasp.  The thing I chose and was denied and I pout. 

It was fun.  It could have been great.  It made me feel good.  And it’s calling me back.

But the heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9).

It’s all a siren song.  Luring me to my death.  A drowning in the what-if’s so much that I can’t reach the surface of the sorrow to see what-is still waiting for me on the shore.  Or that’s what it would be if I let it – if I give in to the deadly melody.

But when I turn away – when I recognize what I have been given.  What I did not choose for myself but something better than which I could have never imagined.  When I ask myself to complete the statement, “My life would absolutely be better if ________________ were different,” I have no answer. 

I look into the faces of these beautiful children.  I see a husband who loves me more than I deserve.  I sit in a dry home, protected from the rainy morning.  I wear clothes that are whole and unstained (for the most part).  I drive a car that fits all our needs perfectly.  But more than any of that, I own the love of a Savior Who gave up everything for me.

Life, life as I have known it, following God’s leading at every turn (with, yes, a few mistakes along the path, those times I decided the what-if was more tempting than His way), is absolutely the best life imaginable. 

And my plans had nothing to do with it.

Micaiah, following the Treasure Map Daddy made for her this week - the "treasure" was her Bible - may she always be so determined to follow the path to Truth.

939. A swept floor (two days in a row)
940. An unasked-for offering for much-desired help
941. Jesus clothing the 5,000 (or three, or six, or whatever)
942. My Little Explorers
943. Her holding her baby brother's hand as they sit in the backseat
944. Hugging that middle boy close as he plays
945. Neighbors who look out for us
946. Picture frames in the mailbox - because they knew what we needed
947. Lunch outside with a new friend
948. A pile of painted pumpkins


  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful lesson.

  2. Oh, so true! I love life analogies that teach us about God! Thanks for sharing this one :) I especially need to learn from it.