“This is so stupid! I’m never doing it like this when I’m an adult!”
Lord, help us, I thought. What could be so hard about learning on which side of the plate a spoon should be placed? What situation have we gotten ourselves into?
Often I look back on the twists of life, and wonder why on earth God took me through THAT. I never felt like I was the greatest teacher, so why did I spend so many years in the classroom? I’m honestly not the greatest nurse, either. Was nursing school a waste? I like to write, but none of the books I’ve written are masterpieces, and if I had a chance to do any of them over I’m sure there are things I would change.
But, last week, as I faced attitudes, the STRANGEST thing came to me.
I’ve been here before. This is not new ground for me.
But I was never good at dealing with attitudes as a teacher, I told myself. So why on earth am I trying this now?
And then, I remembered how I had finally internalized the important reality that as a teacher, I need to be completely in charge. Calm, loving, but in charge. As if I were standing in that classroom, I saw the expression on the face of the student, and how he actually seemed to be relieved that I had told him no, we aren’t doing it that way. I remembered how the year went much better after that.
I thought of the boys I now have living in my house, and I knew–I KNEW–that I was better prepared for this moment in time. For this critical brief moment in the life of two young men (who are not too old to change the course of their lives), God prepared me through experiences I sometimes thought were wasted. Here, at this hour, he plucked a scene from my past and I realized, from the elevation of time, just how beautiful it was.
One morning shortly after this, I fired up my computer and found the image for the day. A beautiful rusty bridge arched over a river between two rocky shores.
I thought about life and experiences as I looked at the beautiful rusty bridge, and how they are like landscape. Often we cannot see them with complete clarity until we have passed a distance away, or a distance above. The photo looked so beautiful though, that I clicked on it. I really wanted to find out where the bridge was, because, who knows, maybe we could go there sometime?
I put in my password and waited to be directed to the website. Then, the destination popped up on my screen.
But that’s a place I’d been! Twice! Austin, Texas is not new ground for me. Why had I not seen this beauty?
Maybe, I was not at the right place. Maybe, I was too caught up in what was going on I never made it to a place where I could really “see” my surroundings.
And so it is with life.
We cannot, CANNOT, see as well as God’s camera shoots. At the time of any experience, our feet are planted on the ground and we might be totally missing the beauty of what God is doing in our lives.
But then some day, from the elevation of years, we may see the beauty. We may see from the shot that God took that He wanted us right there right then as preparation for the moment in which we live now.