Monday, March 10, 2008

the joy of finding diaper bags and credit cards


"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
-luke 15:8-10
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i've been losing things quite a bit in the last 24 hours. last night i took the boys out because i needed to go and shop for a suit for myself. shannon was at a youth group meeting so i thought it would be a good time to go out (see what i mean? i apparantly lost my sanity...). well, as it turns out, the whole evening was a complete bust and so i finally decided just to load the kids in the van and go home. we were in flemington so it is about a 15 minute drive. during the drive cade was cranky, so i was glad i had decided just to go home. when we pulled into the garage and i began disconnecting the numerous life-saving, parent-confounding straps, i realized that the diaper bag was not in the van. that's right: shannon's vera bradley diaper bag full of childhood essentials like cloths and snack traps and sippy cups that perpetually leak and 6-month old raisins and cheerios. so i had to put the kids back into their seats and re-restrain them. and drive back to flemington, praying that the fancy bag of stale cereal would still be in the cart in the parking lot where i left it.
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joy of all joys! it was there! hallelujah!
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and then today i was driving south again, through flemington this time, towards a breakfast meeting. i stopped to get gas, and as the attendant was pumping the gas (for all my non new-jersey readers: please understand that it is a state law in new jersey that you do not pump your own gas - it is all full-service), i decided to go inside and buy some gum. by the time i got out, the attendant had finished filling the tank, so i hopped in the car and left, forgetting about getting my credit card back from him. it was about two miles later that i remembered, and realized that he had probably put it with the receipt in my window, and that it had likely blown away. i turned around (which is quite an operation in new jersey - jughandles) and went back, driving slowly on the shoulder hoping against hope to see a glint of plastic (ironically, it was a discover card). when i was about to abandon hope i saw a peice of paper blowing in the wind stirred up by the busses and trucks speeding by. i got out of the car and chased the dancing paper until i finally captured it. sure enough, it was my reciept. this both encouraged and discouraged me because that meant i was looking in the right place, but it could be anywhere. i looked a bit more, then drove off, but something told me to circle back around and look one more time. so i jughandled and gave it one more pass, and there, shining like a willy-wonka golden ticket in the daylight-savings sun, was my discover card.
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joy of all joys! it was there! hallelujah!
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jesus said the joy in heaven over repentance is like this, only maybe a bit wilder. it kind of makes you want to repent, you know? God knows i've got enough to repent of.
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and so, rather than being content with losing diaper bags and credit cards, i am praying today that God would make me willing to lose my pride, too, that i might be found again as one who is broken and repenting and ready for grace. and i'm hoping to see God stand up and shout...
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joy of all joys! he is finally ready, the knucklehead! hallelujah!
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grace and peace,
greg.

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Nice post. When I first moved to NJ in September, I kept losing my keys. For days I couldn't find my car keys, and was using my spare. Well - I finally found them - on the roof of my car, wedged into the roof rack. They'd been there the whole time - even while I drove all around town, and never fell off. And there was much rejoicing! ;)

julie said...

wowee you are lucky! and very distracted... should i call you julie now?

cathyq said...

Lack of sleep? Overworking? Stressed out? Geez, and you're not even that old yet; just wait! Glad you got both very important items back, but really. A Credit Card I can see, but a diaper bag. That large? Take a nap!