Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Mysterious Case of Spots

            You know, God really does work in mysterious ways sometimes, or at least amusing ways. The other day, I was in a rush all day long. I rushed to get ready for work, I rushed to work, I rushed at work, I rushed at lunch, I rushed home after work, and I rushed to get ready for a church camp meeting. As I was driving to the church camp, I glanced down at my knee to adjust my skirt and I saw these 3 big brown spots that weren’t there that morning. Being the worrywart that I am, all these crazy thoughts came rushing through my head: “What are those? Are they blood clots, have I been standing too much? Are they moles from being in the sun too long? Did I get blood blisters from running into something? What did I run into? That leg has been feeling kind of funny today, when was the last time I looked at it?” I said a prayer and hoped to God that it wasn’t anything serious. Well, those spots preoccupied my mind as the camp kids played games and sang songs, but I finally calmed down a little when the preacher started his sermon. As soon as I got home, I had to investigate those spots so I could determine my fate. I looked up and down my leg and found 2 more spots on the bottom of my foot. Then, I sat on my bed and pulled my knee close: “Hmm, those spots are raised, they must be moles…” I rubbed one and it started coming off, then it hit me…It was chocolate! In my rush between work and the camp service I had grabbed a half-melted energy bar and was eating it as I was changing. The melted chocolate had flaked off and got squished onto my skin. I am glad I didn’t ask anyone else for prayer that night, but I guess I did need prayer for my mental state.

            As funny and embarrassing to admit as that is, it really did make a few good points. First of all, I was reminded that I shouldn’t worry so much. Sadly, that is not the first time (and probably not the last) that I invented some horrendous scenarios in my head only to find that there was a perfectly reasonable explanation to my object of worry. When I was a teenager, I used to worry all the time if someone in my family was gone and got home late. I’ve imagined car accidents, fires, thieves, bridges collapsing, etc. and usually I would find out they just made an extra stop or there was a lot of traffic. I was reminded of Luke 12:25-26, which says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” In other words, worrying isn’t going to get me anywhere, so I might as well leave everything in God’s hands.

            Another thing those spots reminded me of is the need to slow down. The only reason I got them in the first place is because I was rushing around all day. I can still get things done without working myself up into a frenzy. Sometimes we just need to take a break, enjoy the scenery, and just savor the moment. I know I usually end up ignoring the most important things when I get too busy. I’m always trying to get everything done on my never-ending to-do list, and I can’t seem to give up even just 15 minutes for what really matters. I don’t leave enough time for prayer and Bible study, a phone call to my best friends, a chat with my mom, or even playing with my cats and dogs (they’re family too). Those are the things that my time should revolve around instead of meaningless repetitive tasks. I think of the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10. Jesus told Martha in verse 41-42: “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Mary chose to stop and listen to Jesus instead of trying to take care of all the busywork, and I guess I should take a time out once in while, too.

            Finally, I was reminded that sometimes something that looks bad is actually something good. I thought some chocolate was a disease. Circumstances can be the same way, they may seem bad as you’re going through them, but they can end up being blessings in disguise. “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). So, the next time you’re feeling over-stressed, way too rushed, or worried beyond control: slow down, take a deep breath, and repeat after me, “Dear Lord, please heal my chocolate!”
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