I would like to invite you behind the curtain on my private thoughts. I wish to share some of a recent 24-hour stream-of-consciousness / stream-of-activity so that you can see God working. That is, after all, why we choose to expose our weaknesses; so that God’s strength can be revealed. Let’s start with a failure, a perfectly normal place to start:
*I leave work only to discover that I did not bring the forms for the Secretary of State as I had hoped. Instead of completing that errand before I pick up my sons, I will have to swing home for the forms, pick up my sons, then do the errand.
*I begin to wrestle with dinner plans. If the errand goes too long, I don’t really want to spend money to eat out. But..
*My sons come with me from school. I tell my oldest son “No” when he asks to use his iPod in the car. His homework is not done.
*I hope for a quick trip at Secretary of State. My boys want to stay in the car, but I remember a past trauma involving police that took place right around the corner. They grudgingly come in with me.
*The line in Secretary of State is almost out the door – and that is just to take a seat with a number.
*I am given the number 46. The counter is on number 90.
*My oldest son expresses frustration that he does not have his iPod to occupy him.
*My middle son expresses frustration that he has not brought in his homework.
*My youngest son is “starving.”
*I go numb.
*When I am finally called up, 75 minutes later, the clerk tells me that the VIN on my insurance is wrong. We discover that he was looking at the old registration.
*Because the form sent to me reflected my last vehicle, and because I bought milk and bacon on my way home, I am $3 short.
*The ATM in the SOS will not work because it is out of receipt paper. The clerk sends me out into the mall to use that ATM and tells me to come back to the return line.
*Although this ATM is of a bank that I use, that is not the debit card I have with me. I have to pay a $3 just to get my own money.
*The second clerk sees the notes on my insurance now. She questions it, then realizes the first clerk’s error when I explain.
*We leave SOS 90 minutes later. Tired, hungry, and with less than an hour before Cadets. I choose to go to a buffet for dinner.
*I overeat. I have post-decision regret over the amount that I spent.
*We go home instead of directly to Cadets because Jonathan wants to change clothes.
*I tell Joshua that he will not go to Cadets because his homework is not complete. The battle begins.
*Joshua tells me his stomach hurts and begins shutting down because he is disappointed.
*I am at a loss. I spend the drive to Cadets yelling at God.
*Joshua is barely functional for his homework, and I am exhausted. I had 3 hours of sleep the night before.
*I tell Caleb that he cannot listen to Pandora during homework.
*After Cadets I tell Jonathan he cannot play the iPad because his responsibilities are not complete.
*Every one of the three boys goes to bed silent. They did not even seek me out to pray.
*I have restless sleep. In the morning, I choose to write devotions rather than prep breakfast.
*I don’t like the mess of incomplete housework.
*I reason that my sons need to learn more responsibility, so I put the weight of breakfast and clothing unexpectantly back on them.
*Joshua tells me he is still not feeling well. He is near tears.
*Our drive to school is nearly silent. I tell God I have nothing to be thankful for because nothing good or “extra” is happening.
*30 minutes before I am to spend 12 hours caring for other people’s children, I feel barely qualified to care for my own.