It was classic kid meltdown mode. You’ve all seen it. We’ve all been involved in this in one way or another. Maybe it wasn’t even your kid. Maybe you were having a lovely, romantic dinner when suddenly at the next table over, someone didn’t like the looks of their kids pasta meal, and all bets were off.
Maybe it wasn’t the kid meltdown. Maybe it was what was going on in your head while you were in line at the grocery store, as the brand-new-and-completely-unaware-of-your-busy-schedule cashier couldn’t figure out the code for the Brazilian Cucumbers the little old lady in front of you desperately wants. Maybe it was when the driver in front of you believed the speed limit actually means “the speed limit” on this crazy little two lane road in the middle of nowhere and you’re late for a meeting, but it just doesn’t matter to Mr. Slow Poke in front of you. Maybe it was when the phone rang and it’s “her” again and you have to pick up, don’t want to pick up, but you know what might happen if you don’t.
Life is full of deep breaths, isn’t it? Life is chock full of those moments when everything seems to be going crazy, your anxiety spikes to new levels, and suddenly, it all hits you. Like a ton of bricks, it all just hits you, and everything changes.
I had a moment like this today. I truly did, and I bet I have them more than you think. You probably think I’m this positive motivating guy who’s raising six kids with the girl of his dreams, and that’s sort of right, but there’s a lot more of that onion to peel, and you might be surprised what you find as you get down the core. I bet you’re the same way, aren’t you?
Do you know that warm feeling you get sometimes and you’re just kind of uncomfortable and you want to run as fast as you can and with all of your clothes on abandon your good senses and go jump in a pool? The kind of feeling that makes the ice bucket challenge seem like it’s not such a bad thing? I get that every now and then, and when I do, I know what matters most is how I respond in those moments.
I was in the middle of this “feeling” and I turned around and noticed something. We have a small chalkboard near our front door, the one a neighbor helped me put up. I wanted it there so we could have a weekly verse there for the family to look at as we come and go through our lives. Honestly, I haven’t been very consistent putting up a new verse very often, but today I did. I looked at the board and the first verse that came to mind was John 14:6 –
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but through me.”
I wrote the verse quickly on the chalkboard, and I suddenly it hit and I just stood there. Jesus. Deep breath. Jesus. Sometimes I forget how he changes me, and how he helps me put all of this in perspective. How he helps me feel assured in his grace, and offers it lavishly to ornery kids, new cashiers, and slow drivers. How he makes me feel like this life has a little more purpose than me being perfect right now, and how he shows me my true purpose is knowing, loving and living this life for him.
He offers me something new. He offers me something good. He changes me and makes me a “new creation” and “molds me in his image”. And he shows me in all of these moments, if I turn my focus away from this “thing” and towards him, everything changes. As an eternal and beloved son of God the Father, that makes sense to me.
Eternal. Beloved. Son or daughter. Of the King of Creation, and the Savior of all of Mankind. This is who we are beloved, and this life is so much more than the moment we are in.