Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Work in Progress

Driving to work a few days ago, I caught myself singing the words to a familiar song.

"Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I'll be a living sanctuary for you."

The words poured effortlessly from my heart and rolled easily off my tongue. And why shouldn't they? It was a beautiful, zippity do dah kind of day. I was on my way to a job I love. My husband had the day off and I was already looking forward to spending some quality time with him when I returned home that evening. Maybe we would go out to eat. Maybe the two of us would whip up something delicious to eat in our kitchen built for one. Whatever we did was going to be fantastic because we would be doing it together. I could hardly wait.

Around noon, my husband called to chat. Our conversation was upbeat and I smiled as I secretly thought of the plans I had for us. As the conversation continued, however, it became evident my husband had some plans of his own. He and some of his friends were going to go to a basketball game that evening and he was wondering if I would like to come along. Since sharing my husband with his buddies and a gym full of screaming fans was not one of the scenarios I had envisioned earlier, I politely declined his invitation and wished him a wonderful evening.

As I hung up the phone, tears of disappointment and yes, even anger filled my eyes. How could he spend the evening with his friends when I had such great plans for he and I? Of course, I knew my thoughts of anger were not valid. My husband knew nothing of my plans. I hadn't shared them with him. In his mind, his evening was free and going to the game, a perfectly good and normal thing to do.

As the anger subsided, I realized my feelings of disappointment were still holding on tight. Soon, this disappointment turned into self-pity and the only thoughts running through my mind were ones about me and the lonely evening I was sure to have. It wasn't a pretty picture. It seemed as though both my zippety and my doo dah had abandoned me in pursuit of "happier pastures".

Later than afternoon, my unhappiness drove me to my knees and the loving arms of my Heavenly Father. Having been convicted of my selfishness, I prayed for forgiveness. Then as God's peace flooded my heart, I prayed for my husband. Not a prayer that he would somehow decide not to go to the game and spend his evening with me, but a heartfelt prayer that he would have an awesome evening with his friends. By the end of my prayer, my long lost friends, zippety and do dah had both moved back into my heart.

Driving home that evening, I remembered my morning commute and the words of invitation and surrender I had sang so boldly. It seemed God had been faithful to take me at my word. He, through the events of my day, was graciously and lovingly preparing me to be a living sanctuary.

As I continued my journey homeward, in a spirit of reverence and humility, I once again begin to sing.

"Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I'll be a living sanctuary for you."

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