Monday, October 21, 2013

Diaper bag, car seat, and what else did I forget?

While I was training for my marathon, a friend’s son ran a one hundred mile ultra-marathon which in comparison made my race seem like a Sunday afternoon nap.  Participants in his race typically finish in 30-40 HOURS of running.

I ran my marathon on a Sunday.  Two days later, I began my own ultra-marathon which began with driving 8 hours to help our daughter with our youngest grandbaby.  While our daughter was involved in an overnight work retreat, I then had my own 30-hour ultra-marathon alone with the little guy.  I didn’t know what to expect – Up all night?  Screaming for no good reason?  Inconsolable?  Total exhaustion? 

While this eight-month old can crawl at the speed of light and thinks naps are a total waste of time, we had a precious time together.  Even at 5 a.m., he was a happy boy.

Through our time together, I was not babysitting.  I was developing a relationship with my grandson, not that he would recognize me, but that he will know me and I will know him. 


I’m looking forward to spending time with him again.

When I ventured out to Target with the baby and later that afternoon for a walk through the botanical gardens with an old friend, I was reminded of how much STUFF I needed to bring along.  Diaper bag?  Check.  Making sure that there were actually diapers in the diaper bag?  Check twice.  An extra outfit.  A toy to keep him occupied in the car.  A jacket.  Stroller or carrying pack.  Wipes – for any kind of mess.  A bottle and little baby snacks to tide him over. 

Go forth prepared. 

But do we approach difficult relationships with the same mindset of being prepared?  Recently, I had a choice to make in a tenuous situation.  I could choose to approach with confrontation and a critical mind – or nurture a conversation and come to the table prepared to bless.  What am I taking with me?  

Are some people hard to love simply because as wounded and broken people, they have become hardened to love?  God has provided us with the opportunity to infuse grace where it is not known and commence a slow penetration of tenderness.  Seek out a way to do it, training and practicing love in real life, in things both great and small.  

A godly friend once told me:  Put yourself on the path of righteousness.  This morning I was reminded of those words which I had written thirty years ago in the margin of my Bible next to this verse:

Aim at righteousness,
                     1 Timothy 6.11

If we don’t intentionally aim at these, we will hit nothing at all.

Go forth prepared,
 not with a bag of these things
                and packed just in case
                            I might need them someday,
but with a heart
          like a moveable feast.

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