something bizarre happened the other day; something that had me stop dead in my obnoxious, unnecessarily busy tracks. i'd like to share.

lucas and i moved apartments two days ago. we worked a full and normal monday day, came home, boxed a few last things, and headed a few km's northeast for our new, 13th and main street vancouver, home. the night of the unloading, after all of our friends minions left, we only had enough steam to unfold a few blankets, set up our bed in some manner, and fall asleep. so the next morning, naturally, we woke up to a massive pile of what use to be, and hopefully will be again, our "life" sitting somewhere between the bathroom, hallway, kitchen and livingroom. lucas volunteered to go to, what will now be, our neighborhood cafe, 49th parallel, to get us some tea and coffee.

as we are heading out, i'm doing my usual routine of running around turning off what seems like every light in the apartment (of course, while still managing to give lucas the why don't you ever turn the lights off? glares). i close the door and start to lock the bolt in with our new key.

did i turn off my flat iron? yes, but i should unplug it.
[i run into the bedroom to unplug it. lucas is just ignoring me somewhere in the hallway i think.]

again, i go to leave, this time completely locking the bolt, walking a few steps down the hall and immediately stopping and turning around.

i need to check everything.

i have to give a side-bar note here: i am not the kind of person that weirdly obsesses about forgetting to do things after i leave the house and stresses about it all day until i find out it's okay. yes, i check things over and am cautious, but what i did next was out of character for me.

i unlocked the bolt of our door and headed straight for the stove in our new kitchen. we hadn't used the stove, but something felt off.
atop the stove sits a roll of papertowel and a pile of reusable grocery bags that lucas must have thrown there just before to make room for something. i quickly remove everything from the top of the stove to check that the burners are turned off and, to my complete disturbance, one of the back burner knobs had accidentally been turned on. as i leaned in to turn it off, i felt the intense and very real heat rising from the burner. i instantly got a pit in my stomach.

as i quadrupole made sure everything else was okay, it struck me what could have just happened, but didn't.
i suddenly felt like i won the lottery -- like i was just given something that i shouldn't have been given.
in my mind, i just went from having one of the worst-days-of-my-life to having a typical moving day of unpacking a bunch of things we own into an apartment that we rent. i was so thankful that day for whatever illogical discernment god gave me to check that everything was okay.

what i realized that day, as the reality sunk in of how close our lives came to being a bit more of a mess than we even could have imagined, is that we really don't realize how many times we win the lottery. this day, it happened to be obvious. we happened to be aware of what god had just kept us from. but we don't always know.

i often fail to recognize this hedge of protection around me. sometimes the hedge comes in the nothingness -- like stoplights, forgetting your phone, and stopping to get gas; and once in a while, it will be completely unrecognizable in face of adversity. what this incident made me realize is that we don't know when or how god is weaving an even bigger plan into the little list of ones we make every day (that, yes, do feel important so much of the time!)

that day, amidst the chaos of the move, we got an email from a friend of ours whose wife just survived through a double mastectomy surgery the morning before:

"we felt such peace this morning on the way to the hospital as god has truly shown us what it means to be joyful in all circumstances. [she] has also been an amazing patient and I’m so proud of her. god is totally carrying her as she gives herself up to his control."

and here's where i realize that even if i hadn't gone back to check the stove, that the control still isn't in my hands and nor should it be. i am so thankful for the people in my life who lead me by example of what it means to trust the process -- not complain about their circumstance, not try and pretend like everything is okay, and not blindly adopt the notion that god isn't specifically holding them in that moment just as he was holding me in the moment that our apartment building didn't burn down; just as he was holding our dear friend as she underwent that surgery.

what it comes down to is knowing that ultimately, the lottery doesn't always look how we think it will look.

most of the time, it's hard.

it's hard to trust and know that my plans aren't always the best plans. but i take these reminders, and i hold on to them so tightly. i keep them in my pocket as best as i can just for those days and those moments to come that it won't feel like i'm winning the lottery.

1 comment:

  1. wow... great message Beaner and so glad to see you blogging again!! I've missed you,