I've been planning this super fun, fully educational field trip to make Maple Syrup from real maple trees for 6 weeks. I've told lots of people, I've made lists of stuff to take. We looked for extra books about it at the library. I arranged back-up childcare just in case it was too cold to have Lydia on our 4 hour adventure.
To make a completely long story short and sweet, the event was yesterday. But I thought it was today. Thankfully I didn't drive the 1 hour and 47 minutes that Googlemaps estimated before I realized my colossal mistake.
I have NEVER in my life done that! Totally missed a really huge thing on my calendar. Okay, I almost always send birthday presents or cards late. And I rarely remember to return my library books on time. And I couldn't tell you what year either my mom or dad was born. I have to look it up every year. But SERIOUSLY!!! I missed the Maple Syrup Field Trip by one day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm having trouble finding the words to express my disgruntlement. I'm so dissappointed and it's over a really stupid thing. My first reaction is to find something else super cool and entertaining today to make me feel better.
But I think God is trying to teach me something. This quote from Ann Voskamp has been whirling through my mind for a few days now. Maybe I'm supposed to use it now.
Habitual escapism, when the heat of life gets turned up, circumvents the efficacy of the Refiner’s Fire.
Lock the lid on.
Let life get hot.
Don’t let off steam.
Let the pressure do it’s work.
If you actually visited her link, you'll see she's much better with words than I am. But if you want the Cliff's Notes version of what she's saying, here goes: She's comparing life to a pressure cooker. We usually want to jump right out of problems or hard situations, but perhaps the pressure is good. Usually, we try to escape through some little means to temporarily bring our sanity back. Let me tell you a few of my "habitual escapisms": Shopping, Eating, Books, Movies, or . . . anything that makes me feel like I "got away" if even for a few moments.
But if I allow God to finish the work before blowing off steam, something beautiful can be created. If we force ourselves not to escape, but instead to live joyfully through the current struggle we have embraced the Refiner's Fire.
Perhaps realizing I'm more than a little flaky and need to pay more attention to details is just the right dose of humbling I needed in my life today. I'm not as cool as I wish I were. I'm okay with that. God is good. All the time.
And now that I've lived through my pressure cooker right here in cyberspace, and have a more God-honoring perspective, I hope we come up with something super fun to do with the kids today instead of tapping Maple trees with our bare hands.