Blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Recently mine came in the shape of an ugly black boot, size medium, thank you very much. Let me assure you, it was not part of my late summer plan. It was one of those momentary slips, literally, that led to three weeks of not being able to drive – ouch – and it wasn’t just my foot that was hurting. I looked at my doctor when she told me the news and said “I know this is not an emergency, but if I can’t drive it IS a crisis.” I.Don’t.Have.Time.For.This.
She smiled kindly and told me that I comprehend the definition of words quite well. And although she was kind and thoughtful and smiling sweetly, she didn’t relent.
She did it for my good, even though it didn’t feel very good to me at the time.
And then God did what He is so good at doing. He used those three weeks of “crisis” (aka dependent on others to get me where I needed to be and having to stay home instead of doing everything I had planned on doing) knowing full well that in the midst of this light and temporary trial He would have my complete attention.
Now lets get this perfectly clear – God did NOT make me slip. He didn’t push me. He wasn’t punishing me. Yes, He saw it all unfold – could He have stopped it? I have no doubt. But in stopping it He would have negated my CHOICE to take the step that I’d chosen to take. Instead of stopping it He loved me through it. And I am better for it.
Those three weeks kept me mostly housebound with lots of time to spend in my chair, reading, preparing for an upcoming speaking engagement, and reading some more. Those three weeks kept me at home and available for conversations with people that I would have missed out on had I been off and running on my typical weekly schedule. Those three weeks slowed me down and helped me to see my blessings from a whole new perspective.
Yes, somewhere over the course of those three weeks I was able to see the blessing of that ugly black boot.
Now that I don’t need to wear it anymore I’ve offered to loan it to some of my friends. Honestly, I wish everyone could have the PRIVILEGE of being home, unable to climb a ladder or even a little step-stool, realizing the challenge of kneeling down and trying to get back up, forced to navigate steps focused on not falling. Hmmm, perhaps those three weeks gave me a glimpse of what life might be in another 30 or so years…
But seriously, I wish all of my friends could have the opportunity to be still, to stop, to rest.
We live in a world with so many conveniences and yet I am certain that we are far busier than my mom or grandmothers ever were.
Why is that? Do we think our lives are more valuable when they are filled to the brim with work, activity, and doing?
Could it be that we find our identity in our work, in our activities, in doing whatever it is we think we NEED to do?
It seems we live life as human-doings instead of a human-beings….and often the first thing we stop doing when our schedules overflow with activity is exactly what God’s word instructs and invites us to do….
He is God.
It is in those moments of being still that we find our true identity – child of God, loved unconditionally, blessed.
And sometimes it takes an ugly black boot to remind us.