“MOM!” I could tell Lo was annoyed before I laid eyes on her “scrunchy-face.”
“Daddy is counting wrong to vacation,” she huffed.
Her daddy might actually be counting right, but it’s not the way I count. Once the day is here, I don’t count it. And, I don’t count the first day of vacation as a day left to wait. Hence, if today is Monday and we leave on Friday …3 days left until vacation. My husband likes to practically add in days, which may make sense to a mathematical mind, but I’m just trying to get through this Ohio winter as fast as I can and make it to Florida to thaw out.
“Yep, Daddy is counting wrong …I know, Lo.” I agree. Well, I’m not going to lie to her. That’s the way I count.
Walking the pier after I dropped scrunchy-face off at school that morning, I was reminded by the dull backdrop how anxious I was to get to the gulf. Before I wrapped up my work to relax, a river full of driftwood ironically pieced together the “driftwood” blog that had been floating in between my ears.
The river isn’t always filled with driftwood, and on this particular day it flowed out towards the lake. I feel like a piece of that wood, bobbing up and down a midst the muck, debris, and litter …but at least I’m floating. At least I’m drifting. At least I’m flowing in with the current. I could be stuck up river muddled into the beaver’s damn …or taken up to the top of the tree to wield the eagles’s nest. Not a bad view from up there, I’d imagine, but it’s not mine. I’m out on the water …drifting…
The clear view of muddy water is telling. It’s not a “pretty blue lake meets the powder blue skyline,” but He’s still here.
I’m settling into my silent, “kids at school” days. Though the toddler years were loud, they were quieter. I was much less adrift with the day’s routine …confident in my calling to “stay home.”
Now, I’m drifting in the middle. It’s no coincidence that I’m drifting along in this juncture while a literal river of driftwood flows beside me. God sees my struggle. He picks up on my optimism and He feels my faith. I love how personally funny He is with me and my excessive tendency to drift. Hence, all the driftwood.
Drift, per Google, is: “To be carried away slowly by a current of air or water. Move passively, aimlessly or involuntarily into a certain situation or condition. (Of a person or their attention) digress or stray to another subject. (Especially of snow or leaves) be blown into heaps by the wind.”
Total drifter. Right here. Waving my hand high in the air. In fact, if dogs really do reflect their owners, I’m embarrassed by how easily distracted mine is by leaves.
I love it when people say they are driven to a fault. Really? What’s that like? Am I the only one who has no idea what that feels like? I live exactly how I race …at my own pace. And my pace sucks. I start out fast, die in the middle, and sprint the end. I absolutely cannot pace myself.
I was relieved, when training my puppy, that it was a good thing to stay one step ahead while walking the dog …everyone else complains. I have to be one step ahead. Until race day. Then then I spaz out completely and lose all sense of strategy.
It took me until my thirties to figure out that it was a lot more fun to start at the back of the pack and pass everyone during the race than to sprint out ahead and be passed by everyone.
That’s some learning curve. Not for lack of good influences, either. I’ve had some of the best coaches and inspirational teammates any athlete could ever dream of being around. But I drift. I’m too busy laughing …talking …friend-ing …socializing …drifting …to ever realize my full potential at anything.
Insert hopeless “Aw.”
No, don’t. I’ve got God for that. And He gave me a nifty little acronym I think you’re going to like.
Don’t wReck It For Timmy.
Let’s be real, we all drift a little. Some a lot. Some worthy of a title. When you find yourself drifting on the river, just make sure you’re flowing with the right current.
“O my soul, come, praise the Eternal with all that is in me- body, emotions, mind, and will- every part of who I am praise His Holy Name.” Psalm 103:1
“Don’t” drown, just drift. If I fall into the water and panic, I’ll most certainly start to sink. But, if I calmly curl up into a ball, I eventually float back to the surface. When I catch myself out in the left field of my life, I stop and re-calibrate. Normally, I process life through my gift to run, but I’ve been injured for a year. I had to improvise by blasting my favorite worship songs with a hairbrush microphone and awesome dance moves that only my bathroom mirror knows about …or I just walk the pier and admire the scenery. Find your thing. God’s there. He gave it to you.
“O my soul, come, praise the Eternal; sing a song from a greatly heart; sing and never forget all the good He has done.” Psalm 103:2
“Wreck.” That’s what happens if I choose to speed through a yellow light. Maybe not every time, but it’s a heck of risk I”m taking. The drift is the warning. The chance to regroup before I wreck. God knit a sense of right and wrong into us, but He didn’t choose all of the right answers for us. We have to slow down and pay attention to what we’re doing or we’ll crash. In the pause of the drift, I pray a lot. I slow up and search through His Word for answers and arrows.
“Despite all your many offenses, He forgives and releases you. More than any doctor, He heals your diseases.” Psalm 103:3
“It.” What is “it?”
Are you sick? Hurt? Depressed? Mad? Bitter? Confused? Lost?
Our Savior knows suffering. “It” happened to Him as He died on the cross for all of our “it’s.” He is the reason why we’re still bobbing up and down on the river. He’s hope.
I’ve literally been healed from disease, but cannot recover from tendinitis. Who knows why some pieces of wood drift longer than others. As I spend more time in the current learning more about Him, I rest in knowing His ways are superior to mine.
“‘For’ God’s sake.” There’s a lot of casual “God” catch phrases. I’m not a fan of any, but swearing isn’t a struggle of mine …
“He reaches deep into the pit to deliver you from death. He crowns you with unfailing love and compassion like a king.” Psalm 103:4
Perfect people don’t exist. We all suck at something. I fail big and fall a lot. Quite literally, I fall a lot …over my own shoe laces …it’s embarrassing…
Recognize the struggle behind the smiles. I put them up all over Facebook. Smiles. Smiles. Smiles. I’m grateful to God for them all. I want the world to know how good God is to me, even though I spend most of my life drifting out in giggly la-la-land. Behind each one of those smiles I post is a struggle. A hard day overcome. A difficult disease healed. A painful loss, but life moving forward. Optimism. Faith. Trust. In God’s flow, perfection isn’t required to be pulled from the pit. He is patient to let us get up and try again.
“Timmy” is slowly becoming one of my favorite characters in the Bible. 2Timothy 1:5 tells how Timothy learned his Christian Faith from his mother and grandmother. The New International Encyclopedia of Bible Characters describes him as “somewhat diffident and lacking in self-confidence, so he needed reassurance and support from mature Christian people.”
#relate. I feel relieved that if Timothy needed encouragement, the talent to motivate exists among us because we aren’t all confident all the time, even if we’re able. Where did his doubt come from? Maybe the lack of religious leadership from his father. He was Greek, and his mother was a Jewish believer. Old school Bible “mixed” family.
Timothy preached with Paul and Silas. Paul, the apostle Paul, wrote him letters to encourage him. I believe the root of faith that his mother and grandmother passed down to him coupled with Paul’s encouraging friendship helped him press on to preach the gospel, despite struggling with his health along the way.
“When our soul is famished and withering, He fills you with good and beautiful things, satisfying you as long as you live. He makes you strong like an eagle, restoring your youth.” Psalm 103:5
Don’t Wreck It For Timmy. Drifters, drift. Just make sure you’re flowing in God’s current. Parents and Grandparents, don’t give up. I feel it, too. My kids bother me a lot. Just keep loving on them. You’re rooting them in faith just like Timothy’s family did. Friends, keep listening …keep encouraging …keep sharpening each other. Be Paul to someone, and let someone be Paul to you.
Even if you’re not prone to drift as much as I am, you’ll be bobbing in the river sometime. Don’t panic. Just stop, float, and re-calibrate. We’re not going to be perfect, but we’re not going to sink to the bottom, either. Not with Christ. We must keep confessing our sin, and trying to get better a little bit at a time, all of the time.
It’s important to see the struggle behind the smiles. Optimism is just that, isn’t it? There’s a struggle going on, a fight. Optimism is a silver lining view. It’s faith. It’s praise, appreciation and trust. Trust in the flow of the river. Trust in God’s flow…His plan.