Not too long ago I was Jumping For Joy! in a women’s aerobics class and warming up to “I’m Letting Go”, an award winning song
by Christian artist, Francesca Batistelli.
Yesterday, and much of today there has been no jumping for joy! Today I have dragged my feet, stamped them a couple of times and forgotten,” in the middle of my little mess – how big I’m blessed!” (Lyrics from “This Is The Stuff” by Francesca).
I was driving home from a speaking engagement along the back roads of rural South Carolina and the speed limit went from 55 to 45 to 35 in rapid succession as I approached a small town. I was doing 65 in the 35 when the policeman pulled me over.
The first place I could safely stop was at a Family Dollar store. As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed another car with blue lights flashing behind it and thought to myself, “Self. Do you suppose this could be a speed trap?”
I pulled into a parking space out of everyone’s way and dutifully waited for the officer to approach my vehicle. As the owner of a concealed weapons permit I know not to start rooting around in the glove compartment for my license and registration until after I have had a chance to speak with the officer in charge and inform him of my intentions. I sat perfectly still with both hands visible on the steering wheel and waited.
When the officer came up next to my window I told him I was going to roll down the window, which I did with one hand while keeping the other hand on the steering wheel, and informed him I had a concealed weapons license. He took a step away from my car and asked in a very stern voice, “Where is your concealed weapon? Is it in your glove compartment?” “No”, I said, “It’s at home.”
He rolled his eyes, sighed and then, leaning his forearm on the opening of my car window said, “Lord have mercy… Where are we going in such a hurry?” To which I honestly answered, “I’m trying to get back home in time for choir practice.”
He did give me a ticket, but at a greatly reduced fine, and ended our meeting with, “Now, slow it down. Next time you won’t be so lucky and I don’t want you end up there singing with the angels, you hear me?
I made it to choir practice, late, again… and then sang the men’s part in the wrong place. You see, I don’t read music, I only sing by ear and memory. Thankfully our church is so small the choir director can’t be choosey. Her “Let’s try that again” was truly an act of mercy and grace.
Finally, the day was over. Ah, home sweet home! Well, home maybe but not so much sweet. I smelled it the moment I opened the door. One of the dogs had brought home a prize – the rotting remains of a turtle from the pond. The other dog had obviously helped with the project and was now sick, from both ends. The entry way rug was history! Where was my husband? How could he have let this happen?
My husband, who I found sequestered in his basement office oblivious to the turtle debacle upstairs, was really glad to see me. He was diligently working to beat the extension deadline for filing our taxes and had a few questions… At midnight I climbed the stairs, blew out the “eliminates doggie orders” candle and crawled into bed. My hubby joined me three hours later and whispered, “Did you set the alarm”? I had not. I completely forgot he had to be up at 5:45 to catch a plane, which, by the way, he missed, but only because it left early. We could have slept until 9:00!
During my morning appointment with the pastor I noticed his wife sitting at the secretary’s desk. Our church secretary is very ill and in the hospital. While talking with the pastor’s wife I also learned a dear friend’s grandson-in-law was out West helping his grandmother with the funeral arrangements for his grandfather when, and on a trip to the basement, she fell down the stairs, hit her head and died in his arms. It will now be a double funeral! Others are sick, recovering from or about to have surgery. The list seems endless today!
Back home again I managed to lock myself out of the house and thought, “No problem. I’ll just get the hide-a-key”. You know where this is going don’t you? The good news is, the screen window can be replaced… Oh, Lord, please help me. In the middle of my little mess – I forget how big I’m blessed!
- I own a car.
- I am well enough to drive it.
- I have enough money to put gasoline in it and buy a cup of coffee at the gas station.
- I live a country where law and order prevail.
- I have the freedom to carry a concealed weapon if I choose to do so.
- I have a church I openly attend in safety with no thought of reprisals.
- I have a voice to sing and eyes to see the notes even if I don’t’ know what they mean.
- I have a home, with doors and locks and screens on the windows to protect me.
- I have a husband who loves me with early morning planes to catch.
- I have pets I can afford to feed and rugs I can do without.
I have, I have, I have… and the amazing thing is, that as wonderful as all those things are, they have nothing to do with the real blessing which is, “how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted…” John 3:16 The Message
So, watch the video (it’s really sweet!) and join me in remembering, in the middle of our own little messes how big we really are blessed!