Jan 25, 2010

The Right Elevator

A few months ago, I was headed to teach a class.  Loaded down with materials, snacks, drinks.  Push the button and one of the elevator doors opens. Get in. Start my ascent. Elevator stops. I am a cool person under pressure so I think, "This will just be a second."  As time goes on, I realize I could at least set my heavy bags down.  After a few more minutes, I decided to take a seat on the floor. 

Eventually, I start doing a survival guide thought checklist.  I had seen enough movies to know that elevators can plunge ... but I was only about 1 floor off the ground so even if it fell, I'd be fine.  I had drinks and snacks.  I had a phone and once it was 8 o'clock, I could call my office and tell them the situation (that was only about 10 more minutes).  I had a book I could read.  I even thought about how I could use my cup to pee in if I had to.  And if it got too hot, I could always take off my shirt ... I worried how long it would take to get it back on if the doors opened up though.  But I had a plan of action.

I enjoyed a few peaceful moments before someone from the building yells, "Is anyone in this elevator?"  And I shouted back.  She F R E A K E D out!  She started running around like an idiot, calling 911, calling the maintenance people, calling everyone in the building.  She checked on me like every 10 seconds in this panicked voice.  I kept assuring her I was fine!  (Later I realized she was acting like she would have had SHE been in the elevator ... apparently I wasn't acting appropriately as I wasn't freaked out.) 

Time passed and the door finally opened.  I gathered my things (I didn't need the pee cup or to remove my top).  When she asked how I was so calm, I told her I have 5 kids and that was the first time I'd been by myself in forever.  I was enjoying the time alone.

But the truth is ... I was calm partly because of my action plan.  But mostly, a long time ago I gave my steps over to God.  It would be natural to think, "I got in the wrong elevator".  And there were many times when I questioned if I was on the right "elevator" of life.  I would feel overwhelmed that I couldn't possibly handle the challenge He set before me. 

For example, here are just some of the times I felt I was on the wrong elevator:  adopting 2 special needs children at once (newborn and toddler) as a brand new parent; losing a child; losing a baby; business went under; had to sell our home; taking in 2 more children with special needs; losing more than half of our church; etc etc. 

But somewhere along the way, I started to trust that when I said, "Please order my steps" that He did.  God gave me a line to a song I wrote which says, "You have a purpose for my life and You are shaping me, Lord."  And I started to 'get it'.  I started to act as if I knew, TRULY Believed that God has a purpose for ME.  That He is shaping me in a particular shape. 

So as I face a health challenge currently, as I face more surgeries for Zoe, as we still struggle with the economy (Dan's business is tied to real estate), as I figure out how to start and run an orphanage in China ... I get my action plan together.  I KNOW I'm on the right elevator. 

What about you?  Are YOU on the ride of your life? 

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