Life’s a Bowl of Cherries… BUT, Watch Out For The Pits
At Teen Challenge I have opportunity to spend time with the kids. They are truly amazing. To see how resilient they are; how loving they are; and how open they are to God is a real blessing. BUT… they can also be challenging. Not long ago I was observing one of our little ones with his mom. Mom had told him that he would have to wait for a treat that he wanted right then! You would have thought he had lost everything. He threw himself to the floor; kicked; screamed and even banged his head in the process. Mom handled the “tantrum” quite well. She stayed calm and gave him proper consequences for his actions. Trust me, he didn’t get the treat and he also became well acquainted with a time out chair. We can look at that little one and say, “Wow, what a fit! he needed to learn to wait! He needs to learn how to take “No” for an answer.” And you would be right…. What about us? We may not fall to the floor; kick and scream, but how many times do we have adult temper tantrums… One of the saddest things for me to see at Teen Challenge is to see students give up on the work God is doing in their lives because they didn’t get some “thing” they wanted – when they wanted it! It can be so hard to wait. I don’t care how old we are, none of us like the word “No”; and not many of us like to wait either.
Many years ago I was driving a student back from Santa Cruz, Ca, on Highway 17. Highway 17 has a part that is very steep and is known for very serious accidents. I was driving a small Teen Challenge car that was not an automatic. I was in the fast lane and the car just stopped! It didn’t slow down, it stopped. I tried starting the car – it wouldn’t start. I took the car out of gear to see if it would roll over to the side of the road. It wouldn’t move. Me being the spiritual giant that I am, I immediately started saying things like, “Why can’t we have a car that actually runs… Man, I am already running late… How are we going to get home… and on and on.” Right then, debris flew across the freeway right in front of us. Right around the corner there was a horrible accident! We could have easily been killed. As soon as the debris cleared us, the car immediately started and we were able to safely get to the side of the road. That day I firmly believe I experienced a true miracle. My angels were definitely working overtime!
God taught me a very important lesson that day. When He says no He has a reason! When He says wait He has a reason! My responses to those nos and waits are indicative of my faith and trust in Him. It is very easy to trust God in the good times. It’s another thing to still have our “joy” when things aren’t going our way. I have to choose to be one who says, “Thy will be done.” It is up to me alone to decide if I will praise Him in my times of trial. It is no one elses fault but my own if I choose to let my emotions (fear, anger, un-forgiveness) get the better of me. God will give each and everyone of us the strength and wisdom to do things His way, IF we will turn to Him instead of our flesh and the ways of the world – again, OUR CHOICE! God didn’t promise us that life would be a bowl of cherries, and even if you think He did – there will definitely be pits you will have to spit out. It is up to us how we walk out this life. Will we be those who choose His joy; His peace; His daily comfort; or, will we be those who choose to wallow in the poor mes; the my rights; and all the woulda, coulda, shouldas? Only we can choose…. I think I want some cherry pie, and with God’s help, I’m ready to deal with the pits! #choosingGod’swillGod’sjoy