You may be thinking, "What the heck do these have in common?". The answer is lots...especially for me this morning. I started out my day today in a most fantastic way...I went to watch two of my favorite little boys. At 5:30 am. Say what? Yes, 5:30 am. They, of course, sleep until 6:30-7, so I have a good hour to kill before then. I use that time to spend time reading God's word and asking Him to speak to my heart about the day. I began to read Mark 4 and came across a verse I have probably read a MILLION times...
"And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides." But for the first time, I really understood the line "by your standard of measure". My standard. Whether I measure in faith or negativity, it will be measured to me. My choice. My decision. This line is preceded by a warning. Take care what you listen to. Guard your mind. We have four voices we can listen to- God's, our own, other people, and the devil. Pretty simple. How often do we put those last three voices at a higher volume than God's? Honestly, for me, a lot. WOW.
Then the text continues to where Jesus is on the boat with His disciples and the storm hits. Jesus is sleeping while the disciples are freaking out. When they wake Him up, Jesus' reply is "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Jesus said they were going to the other side...yet, their fear overtook them because they listened to the wrong voice.
I finished my time of reading and being blown away by the fresh revelation of His word, and the boys soon wake up. We are off to the adventure of what to have for breakfast and finding games to play. Soon I was storming around the house with a mighty "rawr", pretending to be a tall dinosaur with short arms who attacked little boys with her tickle skills. From one side of the house to the other, I went back and forth between the two boys, each one "hiding" in their own spot. It felt like I was a part of a storybook like "Where the Wild Things Are". And they laughed...sometimes even before I would get a chance to tickle them. We moved quickly to the "smush" game where my legs and feet became the gauntlet to see if the brave boys could make it through withstanding the "smush". It was a challenge, just difficult enough for them to fight and wiggle their way through, but not too hard as to discourage them from conquering!
About this time, I realized that time was moving closer to when I needed to leave so I could finish getting ready for work. Today held no flexible schedule...I had a class to teach at 9am. I got a phone call from the parents, explaining a situation out of their control (and mine), which would put them awfully close to coming home right when I needed to leave. I had a choice to make. Usually this is when the freak out cue comes in for me and all I want to do is "AHHHHHHHHH" because things are not going as planned. But instead I let go of control and believed that God could simply make it work. After all, I was there to bless the parents so they could spend time with Him, and He also knows that I had responsibilities for the day. Why would He let me down? I resumed playing with these delightful boys, laughing and talking and a little bit of squealing. :)
The older one wanted to color, and decided I needed to color "Nemo". Both boys began to color, and I began to draw a moose...one of their favorite animals to talk about. I look back now and realize that I could have missed out on this fun interaction and the joy it brought if I had decided to brood over my lack of control. Instead, I ended up drawing a family of moose...big ones, tiny ones...all upon the insistence of the older boy. When I finished, the parents rushed in...about 10 minutes before I had planned to leave my house for work...haha, and here I was still in comfy clothes and NO makeup. Hardly a sight that I wanted 5-10 people staring at all day while I enlightened them with the ways of CPR. Of course, I planned some cushion time, but it almost seemed inevitable that I would be late.
A funny thing happened though. I got home, got dressed, put on makeup and jewelry, made sure my hair was not a mess, made coffee and threw together a lunch...all in 15 minutes. No joke, I got to my class with 10 minutes to spare, so that my class would be ready to begin on time. I had just enough time. By the standard of my measure, it was given to me. I am SO glad I chose faith this morning. It has marked my day as the circumstances have piled up in interesting ways...but I have continued to see through the testing that my faith has produced good results. Let's not even imagine how it all would have happened if I chose fear. I smile instead at the image of me as a dinosaur and the sound of robust giggles that poured out from two of the sweetest boys I know.