Friday, January 4, 2019

Seat Gaps and Too Many Choices

The gap between the seats in my car is my inaccessible lost and rarely found. Somehow items can be lost in that space and I can find the items because I see them, but they can never be in my hands again.

How do the car keys drop into just the right spot that my hands and fingers cannot reach. Not only do the keys fall into the crack, they settle into a place that up to that point has never been occupied. It's like the first time someone climbed Mr. Everest or set foot on the moon. Uncharted territory that now has a permanent resident.

And, it isn't just keys that find their way into those unreachable spots. My phone, important papers, ear buds, coins and all kinds of trinkets manage to find their way there.

It seems that when I'm needing those times the most, they land in the gap. It opens up at its widest when I'm rushing to get somewhere (in or out of my car). My little valuables seem to leap out of my hand into that land. They act like they are an explorer of old motivated by discovering some place new.

All this leads me to well, crack. I end up with bumps and bruises, scrapes and scratches as I desperately try to retrieve the lost objects. I grab pencils or anything within my reach to try and fish the items out. I start sweating. I start swearing. i become this frenetic, frantic person who has one purpose in life. Get those keys!

Such drive. Such dedication. Such frustration.

So if I slowed down, took a breath and paused would I have more success? Is that the lesson?

My mom used to tell me when I would stub my toe or slam a drawer where my finger was resting, it meant God wanted me to slow down and needed to get my attention. No time to rush is a favorite family saying.

Yet, I rush. And, when I rush, I drop things or forget things or misplace things.

As an avid planner, I typically am on the ball when it comes to having anything and everything I need for anything and everything. I load up my car the night before an outing. I make sure all the gear and items I'm bringing with me into the car have a clever bag or pouch or place. I get this done so I can have a fourth part.

My fourth parts are precious, as you know. I scurry and hustle to get things done before I sit down each evening so I don't have to get up again. Television is calling. There are so many shows available and my list on Netflix is growing faster than I can watch. I know the shows I want to watch and then those sneaky recommendations creep in and I add more to the list.

Amazon Prime also has my attention and again, the recommendations along with the recently added and popular present as I select my show of choice. (Currently, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has my binge ear and eye. I am loving the parents this season. Rose in Paris and Abe convincing the dean to continue to allow her to audit classes are scenes I could re-watch over and over.)

In my bullet journal, (after a few months, still trying to figure that out) I have a list of shows to watch, which includes movies we can watch on our Fire stick, and new podcasts to play. These podcasts are added on top of the countless episode of about 15 podcasts I follow. I'm currently obsessed with Armchair Expert. And, Dax is coming to SA. I desperately want to go, but how do I fit that in between the Netflix, Amaxon Prime and podcasts.

Too, too many choices.

No wonder when I'm dashing out the door and trying to think of what podcast to listen to, my keys fly out of my hands. Or, the power cord I plug into the car gets tangled beneath the seat.

Too, too much.

When I went to work this morning, I noticed the weight of my work bag. It was heavy. I had three planners and a Brene Brown book (because I'm a fan and just listened to her live Armchair Expert episode so I need to read it right now) along with the usual work sleeve. I was also schlepping my workout bag. Holding my keys in one hand and my phone, still attached to the power cord, in the other, I paused. How do I open the door to my car? How do I hit the garage door opener? How do I get these items into the car without dropping anything or throwing out a shoulder?

Too, too much.

I could hear my mom telling me to slow down. I could also hear my voice as I read today's devotion to Camille. (She and I were the only ones up this morning -- she had gymnastics practice and I had work. We left everyone else sleeping.) It was Day 39 of 5-Word Prayers by Lisa Whittle. Today's prayer was "I reach out for you."

I couldn't physically reach out to Jesus because my hands were not only full, they were overwhelmed. As my mind and spirit go, there are my hands. Overwhelmed and it's only day four of the new year. Overwhelmed and I've had kind of an easy entry back into work.

Too, too much.

The verse in today's prayer was Psalm 143:6: I stretch out my hands to you, my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

How can my hands stretch out when they are so full? Or when they are occupied digging around in a purse or pouch or an unreachable spot in my car?

Whittle writes that God always responds without fail and because this prayer creates changes, we fight against it. Wait, we cry out to God and reach out to Him, but we resist in our honest reach. It's in desperation that we pray this prayer (I am reaching for these keys that have fallen somewhere in this car so help me!) yet we oftentimes don't do the work to respond to his delivery or His catching us.

So, I'm going to probably continue to drop things into those deep, dark places in my car. I may still try and carry too much. I might try to handle too many choices of quality television programming (OK, maybe 90-day Fiancee isn't your quality). But, I can reach for God and He is there. He can handle whatever I have going on no matter what it looks like.

As I reach for those out-of-reach objects, I'll remember God is always reaching out for me no matter where I'm hiding or stuck.