Thursday, November 8, 2018
Yes, He IS leading us...all the way!
This morning I have a choice: to head outside where it's damp and cold to get some planting done or stay inside where the fire is going, the coffee is handy, and I can keep one eye on the new Nutsie feeder I just put up this morning. (I have a thing about seeing how long it takes the birds to find it...half an hour and counting so far...waiting..waiting...)
Hands down, inside is the way to go this morning. And besides, I get to spend time with you!
I missed October. Not as in, so sorry to see it go. No, I never even saw it come! But I know it must have because I had to turn the calendar over the other day to write down an appointment and realized, by gosh, that I never even got to enjoy Bastien's calendar picture for that month!
And this is unusual for me. For the last several years...five to be exact...I have had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with. Courtesy of God. I chafed and complained and moaned and groaned that surely there was something more I could do with my life than wait on God. Silly, right?
Like it's been said, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
On good days, when I had things to keep me occupied, I would exclaim, How does anyone ever have time to work?
On bad days, I'd cry in my pretzels on how life was passing me by, and Seriously, why are You holding me captive?
For the like of me, I don't know why God finally remembered me...or was done with me...or had mercy on me...but this past month He finally said, Go. And with great trepidation I applied...one more time...for a job. At a birding store. Because I love birds and birding and all things nature.
When the owner called and told me I had the job, I literally cried. (Yes, I cry a lot.) I was not forgotten! God did see me here waiting all those years. And look at what He gave me! I couldn't imagine working anywhere else and being any happier.
And that's when it got interesting...
Because contrary to what I thought was going to happen, I didn't just get to walk in and expound my infinite wisdom to all entering said birding store. Because there was no birding store. Yet. It was still being built. And I had no idea what that meant when I signed on the dotted line.
But now this OCD lady knows. It means boxes and chaos and disorganization and more boxes and chaos and disorganization. And a cash register (read: computer) learning curve for this 60 year old that was steeper than Mt. Everest.
And that's just the physical part of it all. This is where it gets good...where I began to understand that maybe I wasn't there because I was a birding wonder, oh foolish woman that I am! But because it was the best place for me to learn some lessons that couldn't be learned at home...
Where it was safe. And I was in control. And managed my life very well, thank you.
I don't know about you, but feeling stupid is so very hard for me. Intellectually, I was at the top of my class. But when it comes to technical and mechanical issues, I bottom out...flail...sink. And believe me, you can't set up a new store without the ability to read encrypted diagrams and drawings.
At first I wanted to sneak into the bathroom and secretly photograph all the illustrations and send them to my husband. He could do this stuff blindfolded. But me? I wanted to sit down and cry.
So God said, Let's learn to ask for help! And by golly, it worked! Come to find out one of the girls is a female version of my husband! So I said, I can't do this, and she said, I like to do this and we all lived happily ever after. Sort of.
And that was the next lesson: It takes a team to get the job done. And each person in that team is unique and has different gifts and talents and it's okay to be you...who you are and the way God created you. And let others be who they are. How novel!
Now, just when I had thrown myself over this hurdle, there was another one waiting...one God knew I needed to learn but had been happily avoiding in my own little, well-ordered, world at home....
Learning to let go and not know...learning to trust others and not be so in my own head and understanding.
What initiated this much needed lesson? The fact that everything was inside the owner's head! More often than not I felt frustrated and incompetent (stupid)...unable to perform because I had no idea what she wanted half the time.
Let it be known right off the bat that this is one amazing woman! This is her second birding store and that is no small feat. She could be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and never blink. Her brain is a computer. Mine is a skip through a daisy field. But the problem was, the plan was in her head and there were thousands of forces at work in her life that kept her here and there and everywhere.
I would have given anything to have downloaded her brain.
Now God knew all these things when I got hired...but I didn't. It was painful for me to make mistakes...to be willing to wait...to have to ask because there was no way under the Sun that half the time I had the foggiest notion what was going on.
I believe humbled is the word.
As the Good Book says, It's good for me to be afflicted that I may learn Your ways.
All these trials, and so many more that I won't go into because who wants to be humbled that much, have been divine instruments of grace...kind of like the dentist's drill...you know the job can't get done without it, but oh how you wish it could!
So this is where I'm going on this dark and cold morning...what I hope will encourage you if and when you find yourself in a similar situation...
God is behind everything that He allows into our lives. There's a purpose to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because He sees what we need in order to be conformed into the image of the Son. And more often than not, we don't.
If there's one thing I've learned over these past several weeks, it's that not only is He behind all that He allows into our lives, but He's also with us through it all.
He's not a brilliant Mastermind hovering over the chess board of our lives, orchestrating the moves...
He's a Tender Shepherd knowing the way we need to go.
And then going with us.
And I love Him more for it.
I'm about 99.9% sure that there are more lessons coming. But you know, I'm beginning to welcome them...not to want to run into the bathroom and hide anymore.
Because there's a sense of dependence developing...an awakening to how much I need Him...and a joy that only comes from being more Him-centered and less Me-centered.
And the best part of all? There's no diagram involved!
Just the Spirit...the Counselor...the Helper.
For you. And me. We never walk alone, praise God!
Oh, and the feeder I've been watching? The Downy Woodpecker found it just a minute ago!
And now it's time to get some things done here before my mid-afternoon shift. It's been a joy to spend this time with you...surely one of the highlights of my day!
Shine on, dear one!
Shepherd photo credit: Lawrence OP <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/35409814@N00/3496562096">The Lord's my Shepherd</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>