Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lost Shoe = Opportunity for Character Refinement

We had a frantic morning today. The boys were certainly acting out their boyishness, rowdy and loud, and with five minutes left before we had to walk out the door, I could only find one Boo shoe. It was right where Boo shoes usually live, but its partner was not to be seen anywhere. I corralled the energetic whirlwinds and asked them to help in the search, but, let’s just say that looking for lost items is not my sons’ expertise. We spent a lot of the five minutes searching under the stairs because a certain two-year-old in our house has a fascination with tossing things through the open stairs. Three levels of them. Most of her offerings end up in the mess of boxes under the stairs on the bottom floor. Those are the last of the boxes that will probably just stay there until some adult in the house is finally energetic enough to unpack them or maybe just throw them away. I don’t know what all is there at the moment. Not the point of this post.

Anyway, in a fit of pique, I pulled out half the boxes under the stairs so I could get to the juice cup that J found (see, a blessing in the midst of the frantic rush!) and which had been hiding there for, well, I don’t rightly know how long, and in the process did not find the missing shoe.

Now it was really time to get out the door, it was nine degrees outside, so letting the toddler go barefoot clearly was not a responsible option, and I was frustrated. And, sadly, I let it show. A lot. Crying and everything. It wasn’t pretty. So, I pulled out Boo’s old shoes, steeled myself to her cries that her feet hurt and hustled everyone out the door and into the car.

And as I sat there in the front seat waiting for the brothers to buckle themselves in, I sensed the Holy Spirit gently reminding me that I had prayed just this morning that this day would be His and that I would be willing to follow Him today. And I confessed, out loud, my bad attitude and prayed for wisdom that I would find that shoe and that I would know where to look and that I needed help, Lord, to get my focus back where it needed to be – on Him. In the grand scheme of things, it was just a shoe. A shoe we had bought less than a week ago, a shoe I really needed to be where it was supposed to be this morning, though if I had done the right thing and made sure everything was out the night before I could have spared myself this frantic last minute frustration, but still, just a shoe. What I was modeling for my children was more important than finding the shoe. So, I prayed and I apologized to my boys for my temper, and I asked God for wisdom to find the shoe when I got home.

I think it is right to pray about the little things, don’t you? God is in the details of my life every bit as much as the ‘big stuff.’ In fact, the longer I walk with the Lord, I am finding that it is often in the small things where I find that I have the hardest time surrendering to His Lordship. It is much easier to admit I need Him, Oh, I need Him when a big trial comes along. It is in the little, everyday interruptions that I find that I tend to live like I can do this thing called life on my own and forget that even in those little every day things, in fact especially in those little everyday things, I must remember that Jesus Christ is absolutely Lord. And He is absolutely Lord in my life, today, right now, in the midst of feeling frustrated, in the midst of feeling I have it all together, in the midst of today, whatever today holds. It is in the small stuff that my character is revealed, and tested and purged, and refined and molded so that I will be ready for the ‘big stuff.’ Just like this morning. I’m so glad I did start my day with prayer, and that what I had read in my Bible and prayed was right there to be remembered and confessed when I felt my emotions spiral out of control. And it was amazing how quickly my frantic and frustrated attitude melted into one of surrender when I gave up my ‘right’ to vent and confessed my need for His peace and strength to guard my tongue and my temper.

And when I got home I was able to calmly look in all the places I reasonably thought it might be and finally found it under Boo’s bed. I have no idea how it came to be under Boo’s bed. But I can tell you that when I saw it there, after less than five minutes of searching calmly, that I stopped and thanked and blessed God for granting me the wisdom to look there. I pray that in the next ‘small thing’ that interrupts my agenda I will better remember today’s example and trust God to continue to refine my character, in the big and the small things of life. Because He is sovereign Lord over it all.


Lisa writes... said...

I've been known to offer a dollar to anyone who finds the missing shoe! :-)

Praying about the little things, amen to that. One of the most profound things I've learned in my walk with Christ is that He absolutely wants me to bring it ALL to Him--He is LORD of ALL!

Loved the blessing count posts!

Shawnda said...

I'm so with you, sister!!! Thank you for sharing this seemingly small thing, but the grace of God is beautiful and evident! I love how you share how He drew your heart to Himself, gave you grace to seek forgiveness, to pray where it'd be, to look and find it, and worship. Grace, grace, beautiful grace! : ) So thankful! : )