Last week, my son Elijah and I took a “Men’s road trip” to our family property around Park Falls. “Men’s road trip” became the mantra of my 4-year-old son who never once complained the whole ride, beaming as we “got the work done.” Our mission had two parts: first, we needed to deliver some mattresses, which meant renting a trailer, and second, we needed to clean all the leaves from the roof, gutters, and yard before winter set in.
Upon arrival, we accomplished our goals in just a few hours but ran into one snag: mice! I have personally been battling mice for over a decade at our cottage. I finally broke down and spent an entire week of my vacation re-mortaring the aging foundation and the mice were gone. You can imagine my frustration when they gained entry and chewed through rugs, defecated all over the silverware, and ate all the bait in our aged traps without setting one of them off! I almost blew my top and Elijah saw the whole thing.
The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established. –Proverbs 19:21
In many Seinfield episodes, Frank Costanza screams angrily “Serenity now!” at the top of his lungs when things didn’t go his way. It did not help him on the show, and it didn’t help last week as I screamed it either. But it was my four-year-old son who patiently helped me work toward a solution that truly helped me. He anticipated this “Men’s road trip” and spent time on the mower, fixed things, and his face beamed as we worked on the mouse problem asking:
“How can I help daddy? Can I hold the hammer? Does that cheese taste good? Where are all these little mice at?”
And like that, my deep anger was met with the counterbalancing love I have for a boy who has no clue how hard we work to maintain the property, but just loves being there and being with his daddy.
I wonder how many of these moments we miss out on, every week, because some simple plan of ours becomes frustrating and our expectations are dashed? I wonder how often our frustrations, anger, or exhaustion just steal us away from the deeper purposes that God is seeking to establish in our lives? I wonder what frustrations you are dealing with right now and how are you choosing to counterbalance those experiences with something life-giving and lasting?
In Christ, Pastor Nick