Monday, August 16, 2010

Something . . . Perfect

“Age wrinkles the body.
Quitting wrinkles the soul.”
~ Douglas MacArthur

I was thinking about this, that 'n' the other (I won't bore you with the details), while wondering what to write for an overdue entry here. (About that, read the beginning of the sentence.) And I was reminded of something I had jotted down awhile ago in the Notes section of my iPhone.

Here's the story:

Back in June I was reorganizing some stuff in my office and realized I needed something to help me better organize my pens, office odds 'n' ends, and a growing collection of sticky notes. I went to Office Depot, Staples, Chapters and Wal-Mart, hoping to find the perfect thing or at the very least, something decent for a really good price. Nothing I saw was what I had in mind.

Wait . . .

I didn't even really have anything in mind. When asked by my husband what I was looking for I replied “I'll know when I see it.”

Not exactly helpful, I know, but that was the thing – I didn't know what I was looking for exactly. What I did know was what I hadn't seen it yet. I also discovered I wasn't willing to settle for something just because it was 'cheap' or because 'it would do'. So in somewhat of a last-ditch effort when I was in London Drugs looking for a few other things, I checked out their small stationary section, where I came across this (mine has one less drawer):

It didn't even take ten seconds for me to know this was it. It holds my pens and sticky notes and paper clips and odds 'n' ends. In other words, it was exactly what I was looking for -- just in a place I was not expecting it to be.

And aren't answers to prayer often the same way? (Unless I'm the only one who has preconceived ideas of how my prayers should sometimes be answered. Nah, that can't be it!) I mean, even in the Bible we see people expecting things to happen one way and go in another direction entirely (or so it seems to the people praying).

Take Jesus' arrival on the Earth. A King was born. One who would rescue ransomed Israel. Bring hope and freedom to the world. That was what the prophets were saying, right? And wasn't that what the people were praying for? Hoping for?

Yet there are those who missed Him. He was not born in a luxurious palace. There was no room in any inn in Bethlehem, so He was born in a stable. He did not come with a host of heaven's armies to do battle against Israel's oppressors. He came with commandments to “love God with all you are, with all you got” and “treat other people the way you want to be treated”. He spoke of troubles and peace, loss and life, of being free and following Him.

Not exactly the big, powerful, 'gonna kick some bad guy butt' that people may have been hoping for at that point in time.

But many people have answered His call and chosen to follow Him in all the years since then. They haven't always known what they were looking for . . . yet they knew when they saw Him that He was it, knew that knowing Him was what they needed most in their lives. And as they got to know Him, read their Bibles and received solid teaching and prayed, well, they have found His answers. If they paid attention. Because God's answers don't always come in the places or ways or manners in which we expect them to . . . or want them too.

And sometimes we don't know the answer until we see it. But when we do, well . . . we know it's perfect.

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