Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day - June 22, 2009

Usually I wake up to silence. My eyes open, I can see dim light through the blinds, and I feel great. I get out of bed, look at my phone, and see that it's 5:57 – just a few minutes before my alarm will go off. On the off days that I'm exhausted, the alarm wakes me up at 6:00 and only a massive amount of willpower keeps me out of bed. If I don't get the alarm, then it goes off every ten minutes ad infinitum. Sunday morning, somehow, I woke up at 8:17. Church begins at 8:30 and I was supposed to be there at 8:00 to practice for a special musical number. I showered and changed faster than I have ever done before in my life and made it to the car in three or four minutes. I got to the stoplight at the bottom of our hill – the one that is always red unless a car comes, and then it makes you wait 20 seconds before turning green – and I actually contemplated just going right through. For those who know my passion for obeying traffic laws, you might be able to appreciate how panicked I felt. It was then that I realized I had forgotten my copy of the lyrics for the song I was singing. It was too late to turn back and get them if I wanted to get to church on time. As I drove, I felt completely inadequate and wondered if I would even be able to perform. I didn't have the words to the song, I had left my accompanist high and dry and wasn't going to get there in time to practice much, and I definitely hadn't warmed up.

But someone was watching out for me. At 8:25, my accompanist called to make sure I was alive. When I mentioned that I was on my way and didn't have lyrics, he offered to get a copy from his home – he only lives a few blocks from church. I arrived at 8:28 and we had time to practice once before the meeting started. When it came time to sing, it went perfectly.

Each of us has times when we have done something that will probably create a chain-reaction that could destroy days or years of work. And yet, even when we are in way over our heads, the Lord is there with us. He freely loves us and blesses us... no matter what we do or who we decide to become.

On Tuesday there was a massive rainstorm that flooded the highway; I was driving back from practice at 10:15 and couldn't see anything – especially when a sedan passed and the wave of water literally covered my car. There were a couple of times I wondered if I would spin out, or if I was even in the correct lane, but I made it home safely.

Saturday I lost my car keys. I was at a slumber party and realized I had lost them after I came in from the pool. Half an hour of searching proved fruitless, and praying came back with a blank. I tried again the next morning, but didn't find them. My problem was that I needed to leave directly from the party to practice for Pirates of Penzance... and from practice to a meeting with an illustrator... to practice for the special musical number... to a date, with no real breaks in between. Thankfully, I had a spare and my grandmother was willing to make the trip to get it to me.

Through my own actions, I often put myself in difficult situations. I run myself ragged with stressful situations and long days, double- and triple-schedule my days and evenings, and ultimately take on much more than I can accomplish alone. I think that we all do, at one point or another. It is when disaster looms overhead that we can realize how dependent we are on the Lord and others – how essential their involvement is to our success.

The Lord is constantly willing to bless us if we will turn to Him. For that I am grateful. He is with us through thick and thin, walking beside us in daylight and in darkness. Why? Because we are His children. He loves us more than we can imagine, and He is ready to do anything that will help us to learn to be happy and to return to His presence. He was willing to help me sing well even though we had only practiced a few times. He was willing to give me peace in the midst of a raging storm. I hope that in the wake of Father's Day, we can appreciate what our Father has done for us. Sometimes we may not be in the best of family situations... but, no matter what our relationship with our earthly fathers, our Heavenly Father loves us. The greatest gift we can give Him is our will. If we will do so, He will bless us beyond our dreams.

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