Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Settle for Good; Miss the Best

3:00pm. I turned into the parking lot of my daughters’ one-day-a-week home school group and drove to my spot at the end of the car pick-up line. As I sat waiting, more mom-filled vehicles lined up behind mine while other parents walked out of the building having already retrieved their children inside. One particular mom exited with her two small children; as she walked toward her car I realized my car would be blocking her when she was ready to back out of her parking spot.

Moments ticked by as I alternated my attention between watching her buckle her two little ones into their car seats and watching for the assistant director to come out of the building with her walkie-talkie and start the car line moving. Would the line start moving in time for me to pull my car forward before the mom was ready to put her car in reverse and make her exit? She buckled one child, no sign of the assistant director. As she buckled child #2, the assistant director appeared and started speaking children’s names into her walkie-talkie so they could meet their parent by the curb. Whew, good. The line was slowly creeping into action; I should be able to move out of the way soon.

The timing was perfect as the mom opened her own driver’s side door and sat down while I gently let off the brake just enough to allow my car to pull forward a few feet. I watched in my rear-view mirror to see if the lady behind me waited for the mom to back out of her parking spot before pulling forward herself.

Nope. I shook my head as I watched the lady behind me pull forward without a moment’s hesitation. Busily texting on her cell phone, she was oblivious to the plight of the mom with the two small children waiting to exit her parking spot.

I immediately thought of myself. I often focus so intently on one activity that I am oblivious to the needs of those around me or to God calling in a new direction.

The mom behind me in line was doing nothing wrong; her text may have been an important reminder or a word of encouragement to a friend. Likewise, several times I find myself doing good things – lunch with a friend, teach a Bible study, write a new book. I’m comfortable with these things; they are an easy place to stay focused. However, God sometimes calls me to something else for a moment in time – visit a sick relative, start a new study with a new group of women, help a friend at work. The original object of my attention may have been good and valid but it wasn’t the best that God had for me. 

I don’t want to focus so much on the “good” that I miss out on the “best.” I don’t want to be so used to the “ordinary” that I am oblivious to the “extraordinary.” I don’t want to be satisfied with anthills of ministry when God is calling me to move mountains.

“Lord my God, You have done many things—Your wonderful works and Your plans for us; none can compare with You. If I were to report and speak of them, they are more than can be told. You do not delight in sacrifice and offering; You open my ears to listen. You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering. Then I said, ‘See, I have come; it is written about me in the volume of the scroll. I delight to do Your will, my God; Your instruction lives within me’” (Psalm 40:5-8).

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