Friday, January 9, 2009

This Is How I Know

So some of you may not know that my husband Neal and I actually work together. We both work for my parents, and have for almost 20 years for me and almost 19 for him (though I took a long, long, long extended leave from the end of my pregnancy with Victoria until she started kindergarten.) One of the benefits (because Neal and I actually enjoy one another) of working together is that most days we have lunch together too.

Usually I make a lunch or I can pull a meal from a stack on Lean Cuisines I have in the freezer to make. Some days (and I'm trying hard to make them fewer and farther between) it doesn't work out that way and I will run to go get us something or we'll head out on his brief lunch hour to grab a bite. Today is one of those days.

We decided splitting a tuna sandwich from Subway off of their "$5 Footlong" menu was a good choice for our budget today, and because I have a little more leeway in my lunch hour, and we like to make the most of his lunch hour, I headed out to pick it up before his lunch break.

It wasn't a good start when I walked out to get in my car and the wind (sense I a Santa Ana?) kicked up and blew my hair into the door so that as I closed it, not all of my hair had made it into the car. So I opened the door back up, had the wayward hair join the rest of me in the car and headed out. I got to the Mobil Gas Station with the Subway inside and went in and order our tuna sub and pay. Then I decided to grab a bag of chips to split and a couple of fountain drinks. As I stopped at the cashier to pay for the additional items it appeared to me that the Subway cashier had given me the wrong change, I saw a $5 bill and some ones instead of a $10 bill and some ones (because I paid with a $20 bill which I thought was the only cash in my wallet.) So I headed back to the other cashier to deal with the mistake. As I did, my faulty zipper on my backpack/purse (which needs desperately to be replaced) falls open and about half the contents in my purse fall on the floor while the backpack holds everything else teetering in the lip of the zipper ready to fall.) I'm asking the gas station cashier to hold on as I'm scooping back up my items, holding my purse together and walking back to work out the wrong change issue.

As I righted myself and got to the back of the store, it's then that I realized I had two little stashes of cash in my wallet and sure enough, the proper change was there. I'd already started to address the situation so I pretty much interrupted myself, excused myself and headed back to the front to pay the other cashier for the drinks. Sigh.

As I walked out into the parking lot Neal's drink started to overflow out the top and off my hand and I actually felt it land in my shoe (little open clog like shoes -no wooden dancing shoes, mind you- but apparently open for spills - if you have really good aim.) Sigh. So I was trying to right myself with the sandwich, another baggie, my faulty purse and the two drinks, all the whole adjusting and manipulating to pull my car keys out of my sweater pocket. As I got the car unlocked and the door open I realized my drink holder where I intended to set the drinks was blocked by a card I have for a friend. So I decided I'd slide in and move it then put the drinks down, except as I am holding Neal's drink out away from me I lift my drink a little over my shoulder and as I climbed into the car I hit the door jamb with it knocking the top off and spilling a good couple of gulps down the front of my sweater, a little on my top and a splattering on my pant leg. Sigh.

I got back out of the car, putting the drinks on top of it, trying to lean forward continually so the soda running down my front would remain only on the sweater and not get more on the pants and shirt. It's at that moment the thought runs through my mind, "Wow, I'm really glad I was wearing this sweater." Huh? Yeah, that's what I thought. Finally I get the sweater off, move the card, put one drink in the car, then put another drink in the car. As I slid into the seat I felt the soda that had apparently spilt there soak into the back of my pants and O thought, "Well, at least I got that dried up."

Finally making my way back to work, as I drove down the street I thought, "This is how I know." Know what? This is how I know that spending time reading my bible and praying, abiding in the presence of God makes a difference in my life. I don't always walk away from reading my bible with some great new revelation or understanding (though sometimes I do) but I do walk away affected.

In John 15:5 Jesus says, "He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit..." What fruit is He speaking of? In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul tells us, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." I know there are lots of people out there who God has geared up differently and a situation like this wouldn't throw them at all, but I also know me, and in my flesh on any other day, my reaction would not have been so passive or peaceful, it's not my nature.

It's proof yet again, that Kingdom math holds true. If I abide, then the fruit comes through.

"My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26

"All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man[f] as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the LORD endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25

Man, the Lord is good!

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