Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Rhetorical Question

I don't remember most of the day, but I remember the moments leading up to the impact like it was yesterday. 

It had been a particularly rough morning. 
I had screwed up a major detail of an event, only to learn about it during the final run through. 
I left my cell phone at said final run through, across the county from my office. 
I had forgotten, again, to pick up new eye glasses in another small town 15 miles away and my head was feeling it. 
That afternoon I decided to pick up my eyeglasses and go back to the event site and find my an Answer Plot field. Feeling immense stress and frustration, I called out to God while driving down a state highway:

"God! What else could possibly go wrong today?"

It was a rhetorical question, but I guess maybe God felt obligated to answer to prove a point.

It was only seconds later that I saw the black Jeep come up over the perpendicular hill - quickly. 
The driver never hit the brakes, only me. 
Fannie the Focus, rest her soul, did two full spins, went over on two wheels, nearly flipping, and landed in a ditch within someone's yard. 
I was taken to the hospital because I didn't feel so hot after the ordeal, but walked away completely fine. Not a scratch. 
But with a lesson wrapped around my wrist:
Full name
Date in which I arrived in the ER: 08/08/2012
A reminder I've never forgotten:

When you ask God a question, be prepared for an answer.  

I swore I'd never ask him that question again. 
Sometimes my memory slips.

I have a friend from college that I've kept in touch with since our Purdue days. 
One of those people that deserves the very best and is living boldly in order to find it. 
Every time I meet someone eligible, I size them up by his standards, wondering if I could introduce the two. I have yet succeed. 

Anyhow, he sent me an email a while back saying he'd finally met someone (I heard angels sing at my desk) worth talking about. His words were brief and only somewhat descriptive, using far fewer adjectives than I prefer. I mean....he didn't even mention her color hair. But I do know a bigger detail about her: she is ill. Weekly-treatments, ill. This detail doesn't change his feelings towards her or the anticipation of their future together. This relationship, as it turns out, is an affair of the heart, not the worrying mind. 

Over dinner one night I told Cody about my friend's exciting news and now difficult situation. "Can you believe it? He finally finds someone to capture his attention and now this? Why him? Why her illness, now? How much can one guy take?" 

Cody didn't really answer the question, he only agreed. 

It was a rhetorical question, but I guess maybe God felt obligated to answer to prove a point.

That same friend texted me last week to let me know he was heading west - homebound - last minute. His dad found a lump and they learned that it might not be the "no big deal" as previously thought. I got the text while outside with Cody and read the text aloud. I knew better than to ask God any questions. I didn't care to learn anymore punch-in-the-gut answers.

This friend, however, is handling it all with grace and patience; both things he doesn't seem to have when McDonald's gets his drive-thru order wrong. He has never asked what more God could throw his way, not because he doesn't want to know, but rather because he already knows things could be worse and today he's climbing life's mountains one at a time. 

God sure as an interesting way of answering questions. Sometimes with Yes, sometimes with No, often Not yet or maybe even I have something different in mind. I think He continues to answer this friend with: You're not going to believe this...

This story is not told to discourage you from asking God questions in fear of what He will reveal. I think God loves it when we have those conversations with Him. My thought is that part of living an enriched life is accepting those answers - no matter how pleasant or tough - as part of the journey. Part of your life's story. 

Personally, I wish I was better at this. Sometimes when I ask God if He can show me where I need to be in my life, I have a real concern that He is going to physically move me to where I'm going to do my best work for Him. Without a chance to pack. Or do the dishes in the sink I've put off for two days. So I never ask the question out loud; I whisper it in my head. As I type this, I realize: I'm a real mess. 

Of course, asking, "What more can God possibly throw my way?" may just sound like a challenge and expedite the process...

Have faith in this. 

I'll close with a few words from my strong, optimistic friend, hoping that his experience will encourage you today, no matter how your life's story is unfolding minute by minute, day by day, year by year:

Life is full of uncertainties 
but what we can do is 
focus on living the best life 
that we can today.

Inspiring more than he knows, that friend. 

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful and so, so true. I've gotten to the point to where other than good health for me and loved ones, and having what we need, I don't ask for much of anything else. My experience is that one way or another He usually gives it to me - and sometimes there are BIG obstacles to overcome to get it. I've found it best to just take things in stride and no that in everything there is a blessing hidden somewhere. Love you, Linds.