Me: “Duchess, Mom’s up!”
Me: “Duchess, where are you? Mom’s up!”
I went to check it out. Mumford was in the way, sprawled out on the floor, and Duchess couldn’t wouldn’t shouldn’t disturb her. She feared the loud, sudden “Roooo!” that often comes when Mumford is startled.
Me: “Come on Mumford, let Duchess through.”
Mumford rolled onto her back with her feet in the air.
Mumford: “Pet me.”
Me: “This isn’t helpful. You have to move.”
She wiggled her feet.
Mumford: “Pet me.”
Me: “Fine, I’ll pet you but only because you’re being adorable.”
Duchess: “Um…guys? I don’t want to ruin your moment but I need to get through here.”
Me: “Come on Mumford, you have to move now.”
Mumford: “Okay, let’s go potty.” …and she headed for the door.
Spontaneity is part of Mumford’s charm.
I confess that I did not immediately consider Matthew 17:20 or I could have encouraged Duchess.
Matthew 17:20 – And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
“Duchess, have faith and say to Mumford, ‘Remove hence to yonder place’ and she shall move and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Duchess: “Uh-huh. You feelin’ alright, Dad?”[scene change] I was on my way out to go cut firewood. I love cutting firewood. I got my coat and hat and gloves and water bottle and cellphone (in case bad things happen) and I loaded my chainsaws, fuel, bar oil, files and extra chains into the trunk. Here we go! Flat tire! ARGH! I pulled my wife’s car around to use her cigarette lighter to power our small air compressor to air up the tire. (my cig lighter doesn’t work) Tire inflated and it’s time to go! Hurray! Dead car battery. OH PLEEZE! I dug out the jumper cables and jump started my car. I put my wife’s car back while mine was running. It’s time to go! Hurray! I drove back to the woods, pulled my chainsaw from the trunk and headed for a tree that I felled earlier. Sputter Sputter Sputter Sputter. The chainsaw wouldn’t start. Yes, I checked the fuel and oil. Sputter Sputter Sputter Sputter. What is wrong with this thing? It always starts. Sputter Sputter Sputter Sputter. I went to the trunk to get my tools to remove the covers and stuff get to the sparky and gassy things. The tools were back at the house. ARGH! Put everything back into the trunk and head back to the house. Dead battery. It hadn’t charged enough to restart the engine. OF COURSE! I hoofed it back to the house, took off my coat and told the Missus, “I’ll cut wood tomorrow.”
She: “You just left. Is something wrong?”
Me: “Well, my car is back in the woods but we’ll get it later.”
She: “What happened?” By now, she’s concerned.
Me: “Everything. I’m done. I quit.” and I walked away.
She understood because she’s been there too.
An obstacle is one thing. Sometimes we even view it as a challenge. “We can do this!” Overcoming that obstacle (TADA!) and facing another obstacle is another thing but when there is another and another and another obstacle one right after the other, maybe someone [points his finger to the ceiling] is trying to tell you something. I can’t be positive about that but one thing I do know, when your frustration reaches to the Grrrrr level, the last thing you need is a growly chainsaw in your hands. So far I still have all of my important parts and I’d like to keep it that way.
The series of obstacles adversely influenced our well-being. Firewood is extremely important to us. Without it, we’d get cold, real cold, but at the time we had enough wood to last us for a while so we weren’t in crisis mode. Once you’ve been in that mode (we have) you don’t let it happen again (we haven’t) so overcoming the obstacles wasn’t mandatory. A good General knows when to retreat.
Matthew 5:45 says, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” which means, sometimes things happen. Good things, bad things, they happen to everyone and it doesn’t matter if you are evil or righteous, in or out of God’s will. Stuff happens to everyone. In this life, we will all encounter obstacles but they are smaller in the rear view mirror which is where I would have put mine BUT MY CAR WOULDN’T START!
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
When something is in your way, you could whoop out your mustard seed faith and tell the something to be gone hence to yonder place or you could pet her belly and take her outside or you could leave your car in the woods, come home and relax. Not every obstacle is meant to be a battle or even a test of your faith. Some are just background noise.
Oh, you’ll know it when you encounter a big something and it’s whoopin’ time. Until then, put your feet up and relax. The firewood will still be there tomorrow.