• neo

    Carefully Examine

    Its been a crazy week.

    With a shorter working week last week, Central's Fall Launch, a two day District Board meeting, a weekend wedding in Chicago, and last night's Celebrate Recovery launch, Wibke and I have run hard for quite a while now. Wibke joked at the start of this marathon period that at least we'd be able to spend quality time together on our near nine hour flight to Europe. That flight leaves today. Wibke's uncle recently died and the family asked me to do the funeral. I'm honored by the request - even if I have to do it all in German!

    So, it's been a crazy busy season. Wibke and I celebrate our wedding anniversary this month and we'd already made plans to get away. The death changed the location but we still get the opportunity to spend some quality time together. We are excited to go!

    To travel abroad one needs a passport.

    I use my passport frequently and am always very careful to put it back in its place after every use. Well, not always. Nearly always.

    After an incredible Celebrate Recovery launch last night, I went home and started to gather my things. First port of call was my passport. It wasn't there. I couldn't believe it. I looked again and it wasn't there. Immediately it dawned on me what I had done. Jonas, my sixteen year old son, and I had recently returned from a trip to Australia. His passport was missing too. I remembered that I hadn't taken it out of the traveling backpack we used. I was certain.

    I keep that backpack in a closet. I only use that closet. So off I went to get the backpack. It wasn't there either. I looked again. The red one was there but not the black Swiss Army backpack we used for Australia. I stood there. Rather than get on my knees to look behind the empty red backpack I wondered where it could be. 

    An immediate search of the house ensued. I searched for nearly two hours. I looked in every draw, every pocket of every coat I had worn and in every closet. No backpack and no passport. I even went to the church at midnight to see if I had taken it to my office. Of course, I couldn't get in at that time.

    Wibke and I hardly slept. We woke at three this morning and prayed. "Where could it be?" she asked. "In the backpack!" I snapped. "And that backpack is always kept in the same place. I looked and it isn't there. If it isn't in my office, then I don't know because I don't keep it anywhere else!"

    At five fifteen this morning I set off for my office again. Still couldn't get in. "Tuesday morning prayer group starts soon," I thought. I decided to get some cash for our friend who is so graciously looking after our children. The offices would be open then. True enough they were. I searched my office and still there was no backpack.

    I despondently returned home meeting Wibke on the way. She was running with our dogs. "Found it?" she asked. I shook my head. 

    "Look it has to be there. I'm going to get four miles in and then we will find it. Keep the right attitude, ok?"

    "Ok." I said with a disheartened tone. 

    I arrived home and looked through every draw in the kitchen. Nothing. 

    I walked over to the place where the backpacks are kept. "What's the point of looking in here?" I thought. "I've checked in here four times now."

    I opened the closet door but this time I did something different. I got down on my knees and felt the red backpack. Nothing. Just like before there was nothing there. Rather than get up I stayed on my knees and pressed further in, taking the time to lift the red backpack. There underneath it was the black Swiss Army backpack. "What?" I thought. I opened the pocket and there were both Jonas and my passports. 

    All that stress, hassle and lack of sleep simply because I didn't carefully examine the closet. All that frustration because I didn't get on my knees earlier and stay on my knees longer.

    I jumped in my car, drove to Wibke and told her the good news. 

    I am a relieved man.

    I am also a man who has been reminded of something I taught last night at Central's Celebrate Recovery's launch. One of the critical principle's of recovery is the willingness to carefully examine our lives and the situations we find ourselves in. 

    My passport search showed me once again how easy it is to 'quickly examine' not 'openly and carefully examine.' The last ten hours have revealed that when I don't get down on my knees and take the time to examine thoroughly my situation I cause myself and those around me undue stress, hassle and anxiety. Sometimes, it takes less time to bend the knee and stay on bended knee than it does moving to the next thing for a solution to our stress.

    Let's bend the knee and be willing to stay on bended knee for as long as it takes to carefully and openly examine our hearts and our lives.

    Now, to enjoy the time with Wibke ...

     

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