In the end, life is really about whose perspective you and I subscribe to. What is really important and valuable in the sight of God? What is it that God is aiming to accomplish in and through my life? Take for instance a recent series of mechanic visits. It started 3 Mondays ago with a simple oil change on my 97 Corolla. Simple $18 job. Normally I stick around and write sermons or read, but this day, I opted for a cup of coffee and some shopping with my wife and kids, Caleb and Lizzy. We were having a good day and received a call in trader joes that my car was ready for pick up. No problem.
Now, when we got there, I went in to pay for my car. The mechanic pulled me aside and wanted me to "see something." That is rarely a good thing. I find that I never want to hear these words escape my mechanic's lips. It's akin to hearing your doctor say, "Hmm, I've never seen anything like that before" when he's examining you or your dentist remarking that he's run out of anesthetic just as he's about to drill...that's never funny Rod!!
My mechanic pulls me aside and shows me an apparent leak from under my engine. Well, that's going to cost a little bit. In the meantime, I see my wife, who was supposed to have left by now, entrenched in the back seat. I don't think anything of it, assuming that she is just trying to get something that is stuck behind a seat. The mechanic is talking, but my attention has turned to my wife, who is still immersed in the back seat.
The curiosity was too much. I had to find out. I excused myself and went outside to find that Lela was very concerned because Caleb had tangled himself in the back seatbelt. There was no slack, so with every movement, the belt was getting more and more tight around his waist. With no other choice, we cut the belt and let Caleb loose.
To make a long story short, I spent the next two Mondays in the mechanic shop waiting for either my car or my wife's car to be done.
In all that time, I had begun several conversations with the people in the office. It wasn't until last Tuesday that I was able to get the opportunity to share the gospel with these men. I sort of wondered if the $1000.00 tally was all for this moment. Had God allowed these circumstances to occur, just for the sake of these men? Well, I'll keep you posted, as first, neither man gave their lives to the Lord and second, because yet ANOTHER check engine light appeared on my way home from Church on Sunday!
Then came today. In the above photo, Caleb is holding his "Fort." In the recesses of his 5 year old mind, there is an imagination that makes this old box that used to hold dryer sheets, a soldier fort. Caleb came to me and he was bummed that he couldn't make the roof, a piece of paper, stay in place. Leave it to Dad and a few pieces of scotch tape, and the previously depressed boy was now fully content with the more sturdily (I won't lie: I think I just made that word up!) constructed roof for his fort.
As that was taking place, I had been waiting for a call that I was very nervous about. I had been pacing back and forth the entire morning in my heart, praying for a good outcome from this phone call. Sitting with Caleb and getting myself involved in his little fort provided me again with perspective. What was important to God? Was it my anxiety over a phone call that I had no control over, or was it time spent easing the minor trial of my son? I believe that the latter makes sense, as my worries disappeared, my son was appeased and an email came that reassured my heart!
Finally, in a day when perspective filled my thinking, I sat outside our home watching the kids play, playing my guitar out in the little alleyway. All of a sudden I hear the blood curtling sound of my wife calling my name. Instinctively, I knew that this was not an inquisitive call. It was a call of panic, rarely heard from my wife. I rushed into the house where Lela and Lizzy had been preparing dinner together. (Lizzy has been watching the Food Network and has mentioned that she wants to help Mom cook. Apparently, she's not that bad in the kitchen.) The first thing that I see as I fly in to the door is a giant ball of flames coming from the range and settling itself on the built in microwave and the cabinet above the range.
I knew immediately that this was a grease fire. Believe it or not, having watched the Food Network religiously since returning from Spain really came in handy. I remember Emeril having an issue once on his live show with a grease fire. He just covered the flame. In that moment, I recalled that information and I quickly told Lela to cover the flame, which she did immediately. I heard Lizzy crying/screaming but could not see her. She had retreated to the stairs, but I was unsure about whether or not she had been burned.
Thankfully, she was fine, though she was a little shaken up. And aside from a minor scorching of our microwave and one of the cabinet doors, the damage was minimal compared to what could have happened. Again, perspective. I am thankful that while we will likely have to fork out some cash to replace the microwave and refinish or replace the cabinet door, I will at least not have to replace a wife or a child, neither of which is replaceable.
Today was a good day. It was a day that the Lord showed Himself faithful to our family, and faithful to me in moving my heart to accept these truths. Perhaps you will need some of Heaven's perspective tomorrow. Maybe this entry will help give you that!
Blessings...To Our Friends,