Yesterday I was privileged to sleep a little later. Quiver is normally an early riser anyway, and he was kind enough to keep a handle on the boys’ excitement while I slept. In case you’re wondering, two preschool boys whispering to one another “Shhh! Mommy’s asleep” is never as quiet as they intend it to be. But, I always love the conversations I hear through our walls when I’m in that almost-awake state.
Saturday’s conversation from the bathroom involved Quiver telling Little Drummer Boy the story of MY life over shaving and teeth brushing. I’m not sure how it started, but it was a much-simplified account of places and houses and times. LDB seemed to assume that he was present in Mommy’s tummy for everything before the world he now knows. I couldn’t help but smile as Quiver quickly attempted to move the conversation along from the explanation that no, LDB was not actually in Mommy’s tummy for the whole of my life. “Where was I?” If anybody wants to take that one, please go right ahead.
I can tell that Little Drummer Boy has been trying to wrap his mind around time and places lately. The boys and I recently drove through my hometown on our way somewhere, and he was amazed that Mommy lived there as a girl. He was amazed that Mommy ever lived anywhere but our house. He was amazed that Mommy was ever anything other than what he knows me to be. Sometimes I’m amazed myself, and when confronted with those other things, it can be quite a heart-searching ride. Last week he asked me WHEN I was a girl. My first reaction was: 17 seconds ago, never, too many years gone by, and all of the above. My answer was “a while back.” That’s the best I could do at a weary 10:16pm when all the really profound questions come out of his mind and all the really dumbfounded answers come out of mine.
At their young ages, my gifts are sort of in a perpetual state of now that I sometimes envy. Last weekend’s trip to the zoo could just as easily have been this morning. Saturday can always be tomorrow morning. They are slowly growing to treasure experiences, to remember them and place them in context, to see their impact on the structure of life. I find myself growing in that same way again.
This Thanksgiving season, I’ve been looking at the signposts in my life–those moments and situations, like the crescent moon, when I realized “I don’t have the whole picture, but I know it’s there.” Putting those experiences in context, I can see how much bigger a life is that one single decision, than a series of decisions–how much bigger God is. The path from point A to B sometimes detours through points C to Z, and we are quick to call the pitstops “mistakes.” We find ourselves somewhere we never thought we’d be, and in assessing the destination, we overlook the path.
I am so thankful that God is a God who reveals Himself often most eloquently and immediately in times of wandering. I’m so thankful that He isn’t found only at the destination, but at all points in between.
The song is true. Often the times you lose your way are the times when you find out who you really are and what you’re about. When you realize you’ve overlooked something, sometimes you learn how to really see. The “wrong turns” in my life are moving me toward a more humble way of seeing the world and the people in it–a real view that can’t coexist with cliches and simplistic truisms, a view where faith MUST meet the road. It’s a blessing that’s been hard-wrestled. And I’m thankful for it.