Wednesday, September 25, 2013
That someone has us covered
Near the end of our lovely holiday last month, Emma, Blake and I caught the sky rail from Cairns up to Kuranda and explored this little hippy market town all day before returning on the Kuranda train late in the afternoon. We saw some great things, including a rehabilitation hostel for sick and injured bats and flying foxes. In one stall, I discovered a pretty hat big enough for someone like me, with a larger than average head. Some things, you know you just have to buy.
At lunch time, we came across a nice rainforest cafe, and I told the kids that we'd be able to splash out on a sandwich each, as the menu prices were far cheaper than those I'd seen at other places. A couple of times earlier in the holiday, we'd made sandwiches in the morning to take with us, along with bottles of water. But this time, we could do it. I'd even treat Emma, who'd been spending money she'd saved up from her part-time job.
She chose a gourmet wrap, but Blake kept shaking his head and saying, "I don't want one." Now, I knew it was unusual for him not to be hungry. Whenever we get the chance, sandwiches from cafes and bakeries are his favourites. He even looked interested in the food photos on the menu. We kept asking him if he was sure, and trying to tempt him with yummy items. He kept shaking his head and saying, "I'll have nothing."
By this stage, I was getting tired of trying to talk him into what I knew he really wanted.
"You'll have to tell me right now, because I'm about to go up and order. If you don't come out with something, I'll get you a tub of chips by default, because I can't read your mind."
He kept looking solemn and muttering something about being happy with the plain old sandwiches we'd made. So I ordered chips for him, as I said, although I was sure he would have chosen something different if he was in the right mood. But I was irritated with all those attempts of persuasion, which wasn't working.
Later that night, as is often the way with him, he came out with what was really on his mind. This time, it was after we'd got home to my sister's apartment. "It's just that I was worried we wouldn't have enough money because I've heard you talking about it with Dad over the phone. I didn't want to eat a flash sandwich and then not have money for more important things, like whatever we're doing for the next few days before we go home."
Everybody started assuring him that he doesn't have to worry about that. "If your parents say they can manage, then it's true. You're only nine years old and it's not your job to worry about that sort of thing. If we tell you it's OK, you should just take our word for it and have a good meal."
Poor old Blake. If you're going to be the sort of person who keeps your feelings to yourself, it would help if you weren't a worry-wort over unfounded things. Yet I know he's not the only one.
How easy it can be to give lip service to trusting in God, calling Him our heavenly father. We truly believe that we do trust Him, yet how often do we stress and worry and try to help Him out? When we sit down to pray, we state our belief that, with Him overseeing, everything is bound to turn out fine. But then, as soon as we get up, our minds are already busy trying to work out how we're going to tweak things so we have a bit more time, money, health, or whatever we're worried about. I've done that such a lot. Sometimes I imagine the angels rolling their eyes, just as I did over Blake's foibles.
Once, I might have said that it's harder to figure things out with God, because His methods of communication leave a lot more to guesswork. But when I think about it, that's not true at all. He communicates differently than me standing by Blake's elbow, saying, "How about the ham and cheese foccaccia?" but it's just as clear. When His intentions toward me are written plainly in the book I claim to trust, it really is a bit silly to still fret.
He says such things as "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things" and "If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him." He also says, "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. Consider the birds. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them, and how much more valuable are you than the birds. Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labour or spin, yet Solomon in all his splendor, was not dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and gone tomorrow, how much more will He clothe you."
Those are far better promises than, "We can afford a sandwich from a cafe today, so what will you have?" If I'm going to get exasperated with Blake, I ought to make sure I'm not sharing the same characteristic.
He really did have a lovely holiday, in spite of this little moment of worry. He walked, swum, saw sights, loved his time with our Queensland relatives, and covered a lot of ground. We all did.