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Monday, May 16, 2011

Expect the Unexpected

Late last week, I received three challenging situations that made me sad. Two of them were completely unexpected.

Sort of like St. Bernards and motorcycles. (Hi Brandy and Sandy!)
Do you dislike having your routine disrupted? I sure do. It's particularly challenging to hear bad news and then "go about your business" like everything is okay.

One situation is that our friend Brandy has been ill, and her prognosis is potentially life-threatening.
While this made me immensely sad, it's only a fraction of what their owners are going through, as they love their girls so much.

What's your knee-jerk reaction to bad news? I wish I could tell you that mine is not "ice cream therapy" but often it is. It's like if one of my senses goes off, I must immediately soothe another sense, usually taste.

So many areas of life are beyond our control. Most of us just hate being out of control. Giving in to what's convenient (the ice cream place's drive-thru!) generally contributes to us feeling less in control.

Only the Lord knows the beginning, middle and end of all the commotion and challenge of our lives. Only He controls not just the Big Picture, but also all those Little Pictures that look like our own self-portraits.

Would that I respond to crisis with a little talk with God before heading off for a double-dip of cappuccino chip ice cream. Part of this is that getting ice cream is a tangible response that produces an immediate result. Prayer is an act of faith with no visible action and with few quick answers. However, the long-term result of ice cream is extra weight, which I don't want. The long-term result of prayer is trusting the Lord and building a relationship with Him, no matter what the "answer" might be. That is more satisfying in the long-run, with implications for the eternal.

(And with fewer sit-ups)

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