But not today.
I don’t actually know where this is going. I simply have a thought and a sort of finger, pointing in “that direction” (or a school of fish forming an arrow…whichever image makes more sense to you).
So, off I go in “that direction”…with no idea where I’ll end up.
It all started in the car on the way home, or, rather the thought came to me in the car on the way home. This whole thing actually started several months ago – or maybe even further back. With God, sometimes it is hard to determine beginnings. Anyway, I was in the car, jammin’ to “The Night Time is the Right Time” by Ray Charles, singing Margie Hendrick’s “Baby” part with all my might and picturing the Cosby Show episode where the family pantomimed to that song and Rudy played Margie, when I realized that in the midst of my jam, I was thinking about something.
I was thinking about how I might be able to fix lunch for the guys at work so they wouldn’t have to spend all of their lunch time driving to restaurants in the suburbs. Most of them are married, but almost all of them would go out to lunch every day before Katrina. I’m not sure if they just like to, or don’t have a choice in the matter. Either way, I figured it would be a while before things start opening up and having a home cooked meal might be nice for them. (And fun for me.)
As I pondered the logistics of this mission (all the things I could make, the grocery shopping, the preparation and packaging, carrying it up 3 or 4 flights of stairs [our elevator was destroyed in the flood] and 20 people fighting over one microwave) I realized something…I’m like…all domestic and stuff!
Then so many thoughts flooded my mind, but this one sums it all up: The Lord has allowed me to cultivate domesticity and even experience domestic bliss, though I am single, though I thought the only way I could (or should) do that is via marriage.
Truth be told, I’ve been a domestic/nesting fool lately. Before Katrina, I would be really homey when I had the kids or if I was going to have a visitor. Then, and mostly only then, I’d cook and clean and all sort of things like that. But lately, whew…While our office was displaced in
It’s crazy…but “crazy wonderful”. (If anyone can tell me what movie that’s from I’ll be thrilled.)
All of these thoughts ran through my head over the course of about 15 seconds, then I pondered them as I drove the rest of the way home and was a bit overwhelmed at the goodness and grace of God.
I thought about how I could have not responded to his promptings to serve my co-workers because it wasn’t domesticity the way I wanted it. I thought about how I could have begrudged sharing my home all these months, because it messed up my stuff and my routine. I also thought about how I could be missing out on so many blessings and so much joy in doing for others. Se... it's not that I am getting nothing out of the deal, but had I started out looking for “what’s in it for me” I wouldn’t have gone a step further, I can assure you.
Though I didn’t realize it then, I looked “up” instead…to the true reality, to something other than myself, to the Lord, to the eternal…and obeyed. As I took those first steps in obedience – purchasing the things I needed to make whatever it was I first made for the office, packing up or throwing out many of my belongings to make room for my brother and his family, and even all the planning and nesting I’ve been doing – my eyes were fixed not on me, but on others, and beyond to the Lord. I knew He would bless…and if He intended to bless, He also had a plan and purpose, and if He had a plan and purpose I had no choice but to obey.
I think the Lord had me share this as an encouragement to other’s with deferred hopes…whether for marriage or something else. He can and will supply all our needs (even emotional ones) because He is good and kind and knows the desires of our hearts. He also knows the plans He has, and though His plan is to deny right now, He can and does gratify our desires and use that blessing to sanctify and prepare us for what lies ahead. But if we don’t look up, look beyond ourselves, we don’t see it …can’t see it…won’t see it, and this way leads to bitterness.
Though I yearn for a family of my own to care for, it is hard to feel deprived when the Lord is continually providing and giving me chance after chance to “practice” on those that are in my life right now. My need to care for and serve (and apparently, bake) is being met – not in the way I would have chosen first – but it has been met just the same and it has been wonderful. And I am thankful.