Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Losing My Lunch

One evening last week I carefully prepared a simple meal of sweet potatoes, broccoli, onions and mushrooms seasoned with fresh ginger and curry powder. I took time to wash and chop the vegetables, finely grate the ginger and set the stove at the proper heat adding each ingredient in a timely fashion so that the medley came together in perfect harmony. A fragrant aroma filled the house as I awaited my meal. When it was ready to be eaten, I placed just enough for dinner in a bowl and had a good portion remaining for the following day's lunch. I spooned the lunch portion into a glass bowl with a pretty red lid. As I tasted and enjoyed my dinner that night I was delighted that I would get to enjoy this simply delicious and nutritious meal once again the next day.

The following day, as I got out of my car at work in the literally freezing temperatures, I had my bowl in hand. Before I knew it, the bowl slipped from my hands and all I could do was watch is horror as it went crashing to the ground, shattering into what felt like a million pieces. My much anticipated lunch lay in a heap on the cold pavement with chunks and slivers of glass mixed in. Not only that, but pieces of glass spread between and underneath my car and my coworker's car parked next to me. Disappointed does not even begin to describe how I felt. It was cold, slightly rainy, I had tasted and seen that the food was good, looked forward to enjoying it later that day and in an instant it was gone. Once the bowl was in motion there was nothing I could do except watch in dread as it soared to the ground. The bowl was gone, my lunch was gone. My heart sank and my stomach turned. The only thing left to do was get a trash bag and try to pick up the broken pieces.

As I stooped to pick up the mess (did I already mention it was freezing cold?), trying to be very careful to avoid any cuts, a very tiny yet very sharp piece of glass pierced into my finger and quickly drew blood. I generally try to look for a lesson to be learned in all things, especially disappointing things like losing my lunch, so my thoughts quickly turned to asking God how I could apply this incident to life. What came to me was that there are things much more important in life than a lost lunch. Things that God allows in our lives like relationships, whether parent/child, siblings, friendships, dating or marriage relationships. Those are things we crave because we are made for community. We desire and anticipate them much more than I anticipated and desired my lunch because they are the stuff of life and there is much care and protection that is essential to guarding and preserving those things we hold most near and dear.

Although I looked forward to my lunch and knew it was going to be good and was greatly disappointed at losing it, I could have put my bowl in a bag to protect it and help me hold on to it better, but I didn't take the extra care. How quickly and easily it slipped through my hands when I could have easily done something before it was in motion to prevent the mess it left. And so it is with these more important things of life, the people and the relationships that truly are important, if we aren't careful, they can just as quickly and easily slip through our hands only to leave a broken mess. But what if we took greater precautions to protect the people that we care about most? What if we prayed for them daily, hourly if need be and put down our phones and iPads and gave them real "face time" and what if we delighted in spending time, making memories and simply walking through life with them, feeling their hurts and their sorrows, rejoicing in their joys and happinesses? I sometimes find that busyness, distractions, fears and insecurities keep me from doing these things. Yet, all the more as the day draws near, we should fight to protect and preserve the blessings God allows in our lives. And remember, when we mess up that He sees and knows our heartaches and disappointments, restores our joy and hope until one day we see that He is making all things new.

Do not be afraid. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes. - Nehemiah 4:14

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13

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