I was ready to take Aaron to his day group this morning, waiting on him to also be ready, and so I decided to go ahead and take our recycle items out to the recycling trash can outside. I hurriedly passed by our Rose of Sharon bush that sits right outside the garage door, at the corner of our house. This bush is a prolific grower, so as I passed around it on my way to the recycle can I was thinking that its branches were starting to once again crowd the walkway.
“I need to remember to trim it soon,” I thought as I walked around it. “It seems like I just did that.” And my mind made a note on my mental “to-do” list of yet another job that needed doing.
But as I was dodging long branches, and buzzing bees, I was struck with the beauty of the blooms……the blooms that I so often take for granted because I’m too busy with other things “to-do”………and too focused on the work that was being presented instead of the beautiful workmanship right there in front of me.
I took Aaron then to Great Clips for a haircut before dropping him off at Paradigm. When I got home, I took a few minutes to look at our Rose of Sharon bushes……really look.
There is so much beauty there in each bloom.
So much stunning color.
Such intricate handiwork done by God.
Why don’t I take the time to notice and appreciate this gift? Because I’ve grown so used to it that it doesn’t seem important to me on a daily basis. I see them every day. They’re common, routine, old hat.
Much like the morning I just had with Aaron. A morning full of his routine……coffee, shower, always talking, computer, get him out the door…..nothing fantastic or amazing.
What if I decided I was tired of this routine? And oh, I have! But what if I decided not to participate in it anymore? Things would really fall apart if I reneged on my responsibility.
But what if I realized that this is not just a responsibility? My life with Aaron is a privilege……an opportunity.
How is that?
Yesterday, over lunch, my friend Joyce told me again how she had read a book out loud to her two special needs sons. She told me this again……because she reads that same book, or sometimes on a good day another book……every single night to her sons. Again, and again, and again, and again……
It really hit me how wearying that sameness is to her. In fact, she and I laugh about the sameness of our lives with our special sons. I’ve written about Aaron and Skip-Bo…..Aaron and his bedtime routine…..morning routine……insistence on sameness.
And sometimes I wonder, is this all there is for me? I am limited in what I can do because of being tied down with Aaron. There, I said it.
I mean, I’m limited in what I can do with my life OTHER than Aaron. I can’t even commit to jury duty or volunteering because he might be having a seizure day or a meltdown day, and I would be a no-show.
But as Joyce talked, and we laughed about the book reading, I told her that there is another side to this life. She is giving glory to God in taking care of her sons, day after day, again and again and again.
You see, God has given her…..and me…..and you…..the life we have. Sometimes we think that there must be more out there for us. If only I could do this, or do that……go here or go there……accomplish this or that like others do…..then my life would have wonderful, beautiful purpose.
When really, right in front of me, IS my purpose. I often see only drudgery if I’m not careful. Or at least boring sameness.
But God put me where I am, of that I am certain. So why do I keep chasing the carrot, thinking that grabbing that “always out of reach” something will be where my joy and accomplishment will lie?
God wants obedience more than anything in my life. He wants me to live this life that He planned for me, faithfully, here and now, with my eyes on Him and on the responsibilities that come with this life with Aaron……not with my eyes on the “what could be but won’t be.” And then as a result, living in defeat and frustration and anger because I can’t catch that carrot.
So every day with Aaron is a day to point to God by being obedient in the sameness. I point to God and give Him the glory He deserves when I am faithful where He has put me, not when I am unhappy and miserable. Misery disappears, too, when I am thankful for this life.
Thankfulness and misery can’t be in the same room together. The choice is mine.
It’s good to step back sometimes and look at the big picture……to see how all the blooms grow together into a thing of beauty……not a thing that needs be dealt with, but to be genuinely enjoyed.
I may not even see the beauty this side of heaven, but God does. And someday He’ll share it with me, and I’ll be amazed at how the routine and the sameness and the seeming insignificance were actually huge and wonderful and just what He designed for me and for Him.
2 thoughts on “Quit Chasing the Carrot”
You have such a God given gift, my precious friend…of writing with such raw honesty what so many of us think and don’t have the courage to say out loud. We’re human…. Sometimes I think of our Heavenly Father in earthly terms (I’m sorry, Lord, but it’s my simple human nature). I think of Him smiling when we have a moment of clarity and appreciate what He tries so hard and so patiently to teach us. I think of Him chuckling in a sweet, indulgent – forgiving and merciful way. With your sweet heart and honest words, I think you made God smile today….
I’m thankful for you, your heart, your words. Love you, my forever friend.
Wow, Donna….my forever friend from WAY back :)…….I just love what you said. You also have such a way with words, with humor, and with great insights. I love you and am very thankful for you, always, dear friend!