Yesterday’s post was about how excited I was by providential inspirations. I went to bed last night praying, “I will go to Sunday School and I will get there at a reasonable time.”
I woke up, got ready, put on my cross and went downstairs saying, “All right, Lord. Tell the devil that there will be no nonsense today! No giant Shelob spiders hanging across my doorway. No stolen cars or crazed neighbors or inane Sunday morning emergency roadwork to hold me back. No nonsense today!” And there wasn’t. I got to church and arrived at Sunday School with no problems.
Shortly after I arrived, however, the chain of my cross slid from my neck into my hand. I pulled the whole thing into my hand and found the cross was missing.
I love my cross. The chain was chosen by my mother and the cross by my grandmother. I love it because of its beauty, because of who gave it to me and because of what it represents.
There were 2 others before it.
The first was when I was 14; I’ll admit that I wanted it at first because Agent Scully wore a cross all the time and I just really wanted one. I lost that cross when I was 18, some time in my second or third quarter at Ohio State. I felt it loosen from my neck when I was lying in bed and I never found the cross or chain again.
The second one I received the birthday or Christmas after losing the first (possibly at Easter, I can barely remember). I lost that one when I was about 20 and at the grocery store. I had leaned over my cart to pick up my case of Aquafina, my chain caught on the bottom of the grocery cart, ripped from my neck, the cross went flying and was never found.
For the first two crosses, I spent some time thinking about the life I was living and I was clearly able to discern why I’d lost my crosses; I simply didn’t deserve them.
This time, however, I could not immediately see any wrongdoing. All that happened was that I praised God last night and I got up this morning intent on going to Sunday School.
Perhaps it was because as I was walking to my car I asked God not to send me a crazy storm like losing my sight or a limb or a family member to make me praise Him because I said we both knew I didn’t need that to praise Him. He already had my attention; I didn’t need a challenge.
Perhaps it was this declaration that the devil asked for just an irritation. Perhaps catastrophe would make me stronger, but what about life’s small irritations?
Twice before today, I’ve just barely caught my cross falling off the chain because I was in such a rush in the morning that I hadn’t fastened the clasp properly and once again, after rushing, the cross slid from the chain.
When I noticed my cross was missing, I immediately stood and looked all over the floor for it and left the church looking for it across the parking lot. When I looked in my car, I remembered the reason I was at the church so early that day and returned to Sunday School class.
I texted my mother and shared with her that I knew this was just the devil trying to irritate me, to stress me out unnecessarily and distract me and he did it briefly. It took about ten minutes before I was absorbed in the lesson again, but I though that though, I was irritated, the cross was replaceable and when I replaced it, I would remember who gave me the precious one. I was not going to let an irritation distract me from the lesson.
I relaxed and listened and added my two cents to the lesson and only afterward, when I happened to look down and under the seat in front of me that I found my cross.
I’m not sure what else to say about today. The point that I’d made in Sunday School today was the same point I’d reiterated in my latest edit of my novel yesterday: We can’t always see the big picture, but all things work for His greater glory; it may seem “bad” or irritating to us today, but all things work so that He will get the glory. That’s all I’ve got to say about today.