Have you ever been running behind, trying to wrap up the day’s errands and get home to unwind (or face another list of of solicited jobs) and every where you turn you’re applying the brakes for speed bumps? I hope I’m not the only one guilty of succumbing to the hustle and bustle of the proverbial rat race!
Seriously though I do hope every one reading this has NEVER found themselves cutting across the Superstore Parking Lot to avoid the speed bumps or annoying arbitrarily placed stop signs at the end of parking rows . . . where nobody drives anyway! I hope I am the last impatient soul on earth!
I had our itinerary in Ukraine well laid out. Fly out of Winnipeg November 23, arrive in Kyiv November 24, get oriented in Kyiv November 25, (including a few walk a-bouts – even found the office where our appointment would be – not bad after 3 years). Well so I thought! We timed our walk to insure a timely arrival the following day. Oops this just supposed to be my itinerary – I’ll carry on.
November 26 our appointment at 1000. November 27 pick up orphanage referral and take the overnight train to the orphanage. November 28 meet the children and spend the next 14 days getting acquainted with children. December 13 bring the closure of adoption documents to Kyiv and application for court hearing and fly home to await scheduling of our court date . . . . . . . and so on!
Don’t step on the glass!
So tell me then, with such a well thought out plan, why am I, at 0600 on November 30 writing this from our 7th floor apartment in Kyiv!
We haven’t got to the orphanage, we have not been able to get our referral – so we are still in Kyiv at the mercy of the system. Why Lord is this happening? It’s those annoying speed bumps of life! Let’s go back to the Superstore parking lot for a minute and think about their purpose. Brainstorm with me – humour me for a moment! Yes of course they make us SLOW UP! But why?
Can you imagine the chaos in parking lot if everyone was impatient like me and in a hurry to get to the next item on their list! Those speed bumps slow us up, make us aware of others, make us yield to others, make us think of others, keep us and others safe, because others have lists and needs also! Forgive me as I ramble – but we have come across another speed bump! We can choose to ignore it and have our necks compressed as our heads are thrust into the ceiling liner or we can apply the brake and yield to the bump and take in what lies around us and move on!
Yes we are desperately eager to get to the orphanage and meet the children and start building relationships – BUT THE LORD SAYS;
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
Sharon and I are recognizing there is a bigger picture. The Lord is trying to teach us this over and over. I am typically not a slow learner at least so I thought!
To be honest when the office told us that they only do second appointments on Thursdays and only do 2 appointments a day and December 4 they will let us know if they can see us on December 5, and that it will likely
be December 12 or 19! WHAT IS THIS FOR REAL!! I almost lost it – no way am I applying the brakes for this speed bump, this is stupid – out of my way! It would not take more than 10 minutes to write the referral letter and we would be on our way! Ouch . . . feel the neck compression!
Then the Lord reminded me:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4 NIV
All that we are experiencing during these days is for our development, our maturity that we would be complete lacking nothing! Obviously it is of no surprise I have room for a lot of growth! Especially when I look at the beginning of these verses. James the brother of our Lord does not use the old adage “Grin and bear it.” No “consider it PURE JOY.” That is not a smile over clenched teeth muttering “just wait when I get a chance I am going to . . . ” No, “Pure Joy,” which is not joy with a scowl, not a smile when others are watching. It is total complete joy at spiritual growth and development that is taking place. Utter delight that he is still working on me. Wow! I was brought to my knees, over breakfast I tearfully asked Sharon to forgive me and asked the Lord to fill me with His joy.
Moving forward will I always be able to apply the brakes as the speed bumps of life confront me, no I know I will fail! But I also know that as I look to the Lord He will enable me. Join with us as we pray for a December 5 appointment, and learn to face life’s speed bumps with joy!