This morning while stretching for my jog on the first block, I came across a cat who was running with three legs. At first I thought I was seeing things… (not wearing my glasses and all) but when I looked real close, I saw he really only had 3 legs!! The fourth, hind leg, was amputated and God knows what that poor animal had been through. It must have been painful. I began to think (with my little veterinary and much medical knowledge), what could have caused this little kitty’s leg to be amputated. He could’ve had cat diabetes, but I don’t know if cats have that. He could have had a severed nerve. Or he could have had a car run over his little paw. Or maybe… some dog chewed on him! I dunno. I gave up trying to figure it out.
As my heart went out to this little kitty whom I going to call Forrest, he hopped-walked across to me with a slight meow. What happened the next few moments were amazing.
Forrest started to rub against my leg and and I stooped to rub his head, he threw himself on the ground and rolled over for a moment of tummy scratch. Just then I had a moment in my head.
We humans, complain about so much on a daily basis. I am guilty of it too. Sometimes we have so many excuses for why we can’t live, or love, or have fun. It’s the simple things that bother us… not having money, or not having a car, or not having money, or not being the right weight. Upset about how someone has offended us over a cup of tea, or how someone has hurt us in the past, or how someone is affecting us in the present. Trivial things. No matter what, it seems like there is always something to keep us in the moment of ‘upset’. But I think what we often miss is that it could be worse for us. You could have had your leg amputated, or you could have been told you have cancer, or you could have been told that you have three weeks to live. I thought about this while playing with little Forrest. If any of these things had happened to me, the first thing that I would say is ” I wish I had done more with my life”. I would wish I had lived more or called my mom and dad more or spent time with my friends some more. I would have wish I had told the guy I had a crush on that “yes, I do like you, so what?!!” I’ve come to realize that wherever I am in life, whatever I am doing, I am ok. Things could be worse. Forrest lost a leg… but I bet, he was still happy to have three and so he was not going to let any thing stop him from livin’. He approached me with boldness to say “hey, I like you. Will you let me show you?” and when I responded, he was ready to pour out his affection in a moment of play.
Paul said in the bible, ” I’ve learned that whatsoever state i am in, to be content therein”. My lesson today is that I can live on 3 legs. I might not have it altogether, I might not have a fat check in my bank account, I might live in a fancy condo, but what I do have is Christ in me, the hope of glory, who enables me to do all things. Yes, I might have lost a leg, but I have got three other extremities that I can live with, love with and play with. I am dealing with so many people who are letting what happened last year or even last night affect them. How long do you plan to stay upset with that person? With your friend? With the way things are? Would that ‘upset’ even matter if you woke up tomorrow and discovered you now had 3 legs? Would you let that stop you from living, giving, loving? Or would you, like Forrest, get up, learn to adapt and walk again, saying to yourself, “Yea, …… I lost a leg…. but you know what? I\’m Alive !”
So this morning I went to the gym (something I decide to do randomly once a year when I realize I have paid an arm and a leg in tuition fees). It was so strange to be there. First thing I realized was that all the equipment I used in 2009 had disappeared or been rearranged… jolly for me. So basically I had to go looking around like some inexperienced geek to find the ones I needed to use.
I decided I should probably start simple…so I did about 25 on the bike and then went over to the elliptical. It was there that I had today’s ‘moment in my head’.
I started out slow at first, trying to get my rhythm… but within 2 mins I was ‘in the groove’ and ready to really ‘work’ it. Every so often though, I realized that, my feet would jump ahead of my rhythm (or behind), really throwing me out of gear but strange enough, I discovered that (and if you’ve ever been on one of these things, you’ll know), the machine had kept a momentum all of its own. After the third time of ‘slipping foot syndrome’, I was getting so frustrated. I mean I really wanted to work the thing. And then out of the blue, it was as if the machine talked to me. “You really don’t have to work me… I can do the work for you”, it said.
I realized that this is a common thing I do in life. See, what the machine was trying to tell me was that, it already had picked up the momentum all I had to do was to ‘flow with it’. Sometimes I feel God is trying to tell us that. We…. well… I have a way of wanting to be in control of things that God brings my way. Not controlling in that sense… but… it’s kinda like… I need to have control of what happens so that I don’t have any unexpected blows. But I believe that what I was trying to do with that machine, is often what I have tried to do with God. It’s like instead of letting Him order my steps… I want to help Him. But really God doesn’t need my help to help me. He’s God. I remember this song by Kirk Franklin and Toby Mac, I am God. In the end of the song, Kirk says ” You are God…. and I am not”. He was so right. Who am I to play God? Why do I think I need to push things or slow things down, when He has already planned out the momentum?
There’s much to be learned I think from today’s lesson. For me, it’s been a crazy week… one where I thought I needed to be in control. But I have come to a moment of realization that, I need to accept what God is doing in my life and no matter how much it does not go with the momentum I am familiar with in my life… I have to trust that His momentum is better. Romans 8:28 says “all things work together for the good to them that love God…”. My encouragement to you (if you are going through some chaotic mess that you are grappling to control, even though you know you can’t), is to Let go… and Let God. Let God lead you… Let Him minister… Let Him love. God’s got some amazing plans for you and it’s a lot better than what you have in mind. Is there a place that God is sending you to that you feel you shouldn’t go to? Is there a person that God has sent to love you but you aren’t willing to accept it? Or is there something that He is trying to do that doesn’t fit into the plan or pace of your life? Let Him.
Someone once said `life is like a box of chocolates`. I guess that’s subject to interpretation. I mean, if you’re allergic to chocolates, then life wouldn’t be all that good. If you like chocolates though, then saying that would mean life is great.
I am not that fond of all types of chocolates, so I can’t make the comparison. I mean, I don’t like chocolates with nuts, I don’t like dark chocolate, I don’t like flaky chocolates. Come to think of it, I think I only like Cadbury. So that pretty much limits the comparison.
But when I think about how life is, I realize that if anything, it’s dynamic. By that I mean every moment in it is only there for that moment. It’s fluid. Non-stagnant. We get 24 hours a day, 7 days a weekm 4 weeks a month and 12 months a year. And each of those parameters don’t repeat themselves. To me, it pretty much means, I can’t waste time…. I can’t waste life.
Today I realize that. Yesterday was one of those days that I just wanted to crawl up in a whole and pass out. So when I woke up today… well let’s just say I was honestly not too thrilled about the idea. But as 7am turned to 8 and 8am turned to 9am. I realized somethin’- the sun was out and the weather was warm. It suddenly hit me that I’ve just survived winter. 4 months! And to be honest, It all just seemed to be like a fleeting train, where I am unaware of what happened in that time. So… today… I made a decision. To live each second with the understanding that i won’t get it back.
I can’t undo yesterday. Memories will always be etched in my brain. But today… right now… I can do something about that.
What am I trying to say? There are moments of yesterday that create memories for us. I don’t know what those memories are for you. But this I do know. You can’t hold on to yesterday’s memories when today is in front of you. If they are good memories, then you have the opportunity to make more. If they are bad, you have the opportunity to recreate better ones. But God has given you 24 hours. Use it wisely, optimally. Enjoy it to the fullest knowing fully well, you will not get today back.
That’s my five mins in my head today.