Monday, June 27, 2011

Seeking Christ in a Day of Detours

You know what it's like, right? Sometimes, nothing goes as planned. Well, today, in the midst of one of those days, I gave myself a proposition: imagine Christ spending the day with you. Because He is.

On today's to-do list were a series of errands designed to get the boys ready for their sleepaway camps tomorrow morning. At 11 a.m. I left the house with L, our 11 year old, to pick up copies of the boys' health forms from their dad's office. I headed into downtown, which was filled with construction vehicles of every description, detours and make-shift one way streets. With no place to park, I told L. I would drop him off, then circle the block. He was to wait for me on the steps to his dad's office with the forms. So circle I did. I saw L. standing on the steps with nothing in his hands. Where were the health forms? Seems he misunderstood what I said; he thought I was going to park and then go into the office with him. So I circled the block again. This time, he was outside on the steps, holding a manila folder. Hooray! The health forms!

We headed out of downtown and L. looked inside the folder. It was his social-studies homework from a few weeks ago. I pulled a U-turn and headed back downtown. I called my husband on the cell. "What we are looking for are the boys' health forms." Seems he had grabbed the wrong forms. Did I want to do lunch later? Sure. I dropped L. off, circled the block again and we were heading out. We made it to our family doctor's office. It was noon already. It took 40 minutes, yes, I said 40 minutes to get the forms signed and copies of their immunization records. Well, it was time for lunch now. Did I mention that I had skipped breakfast and my morning java? My son and I were famished. As we headed to my husband's office, the cell phone rang. L. picked it up. It was G., insistent that I get on the phone. Seems his bike had broken on the way to a staff meeting. He needed a ride home before his work shift began. He was sure he could ride his other bike to work.

The rest of the day proceeded like this. It involved two broken bikes, a 14-year-old covered in tears and bike grease, a hurried lunch at 2 p.m., a damp baseball uniform, a nap in the car at the ball fields while we waited for the coach to show up, a rushed trip to Target for boxer briefs and toothbrushes, a quick trip during rush hour to Best Buy to find a camera charger that was not in stock, and on and on.

Like I said, it was One of Those Days. But when I was circling my husband's work block for the second time I realized that this - my first full day of summer vacation - likely was going to be a day when all my plans evaporated. I realized Christ would be beside me, in every detour and roadblock, real and imagined.

Tonight at School of Community, we sat in my friends' backyard and read aloud these words of Father Carron, spoken at the Spring Fraternity Exercises. They resonate with the reality of my own experience of seeking Christ and knowing He exists even in the often banal but necessary tasks of my vocation as a wife and a mother.

“‘What is man that You should keep him in mind, mortal man that You care for him?’ (Ps 8:5). No  question in life has ever struck me like this one. There has been only one Man in the world who could answer me, by asking another question: ‘What would it profit a man if he gain the world, and then lose himself? Or what could a man give in exchange for himself?’ (Matt 16:26). I was never asked a question that took my breath away so much as this question of Christ! . .  Only Christ takes my humanity so completely to heart."

Maybe just maybe there is a message for me in the day of detours, roadblocks, late lunches and stalled schedules. Maybe today was Christ's way of helping me to remember I do not control time. And that I still can feel, as I did today, His overwhelming peace in the midst of the busyness of my life.


  1. So true! Your line about running into Target for boxer briefs reminded me of a time about six years ago when we went on a one-day boating outing and my then 17-year-old son got a call asking if he could fill in as a counselor at church camp that week, starting that afternoon. Since were were already closer to camp than home (and camp is nearly 2 hours from home) we had to pull together enough clothes and toiletries for him to go to camp that afternoon. (We sent more clothes later in the week with someone from church who was going anyway.) I remember a quick trip to Kmart for boxer briefs and toothbrushes!

    I always try to remember Corrie ten Boom's attitude toward interruptions and unplanned things. I read a book about her written by her personal assistant who said Corrie never planned very far ahead (even for international trips) and was never worried or concerned when unplanned visitors dropped by. Corrie always figured God was in control and knew the ultimate schedule. Easier said than done, of course!

  2. Allison this is SUCH a beautiful thought. You wrote it all down just right, too. Thank you for the perspective during my busy, busy night at work. I wasn't going to go to my Google Reader because I was afraid of distractions, but felt that still, small voice telling me to at least read yours. Thank you again, you are a wonderful girl! Surely the Lord holds you especially in highest regard!

  3. Eden: So glad you stopped by! Bless you.