The next morning I warmed up the quiche and placed it down in front of her. She looked at it. She did not want to touch it. There were pancakes left over from my husband’s breakfast, and she eyed those. We told her she could have them after she ate this one small pie shaped piece of quiche. She threw a fit, and continued to tell us, “Quiche makes me sick” – which it doesn’t. Finally, after yelling and tears, she took a tiny bite, if you could call it that. She began to gag. And I began to get even more angry. Needless to say, she finished the quiche, did not have the pancakes, and missed her bus in the process because she didn’t get moving. It was not the best morning.
This isn’t the first fight we’ve had over food. One stuffed mushroom which she really didn’t like has been the bane of the dinner table before, and she really did not like that. Another dish has also played a part in this that, after all the fights, the grounding, and the serving it to her for dinner and breakfast until it was gone, she realized she actually liked. Of course, because she had convinced herself that she wasn’t going to like it, it took a while to break through her pride and get her to admit that she really did.
There’s a story about my husband when he was a child. He hated salmon, and he had told me that it used to make him throw up. I enlightened him by telling him that it wasn’t the salmon that made him throw up, it was his temper tantrum and the fact that he convinced himself it would do so. He sees that now, and though he still doesn’t like fish of any type save for shrimp, he eats it without incident.
This is what happens when we tell ourselves what the outcome will be before it actually happens. “I’m not going to like this.” “This will make me sick.” “It won’t turn out well, so there’s no point in trying.” There are hundreds of thousands of excuses out there that we cling to so that we can get out of the things that are not pleasing to us.
I don’t like phones. I admit, I hate talking on the phone. In my life there have been only a select few people who I’ve actually enjoyed talking to on the phone, and with them I could talk forever about nothing and I loved it. But otherwise, I hate phones. Calling to make appointments makes me anxious. It takes me forever to get to it (when my husband refuses to do it for me), and I have to prepare. I write down who I’m calling, the phone number, who I’m making the appointment for, and any other information I may need at the time. I rehearse in my head what I’m going to say when someone at the other end answers. Yes, I suffer from this. It’s something I need to work on. When I worked at Babies R Us I was the one who would place calls in the morning letting people know the furniture they had ordered was in and ready to be picked up. I would double check who I was calling, dial, and while I listened to the ringing of their phone I would pray that that it was their answering machine so I could just leave a quick message. That didn’t always work.
So it’s really no surprise that when I was asked to play a bigger role for a traveling with kids website- I’ve been a member for a few years and love writing reviews- recently that I freaked out. It sounds like it would be fun; I’d have to find businesses where someone from the site could go (free of charge) and write a review about their time there. That place would take care of all or most of the expenses. Both the establishment and the one chosen to go would have to go through me. When I told my husband about it he said, “You’ll probably have to have use the phone and you know how you are with phones.” Big blow. I do know how bad I am, how anxious I get around them (can I just say I love caller ID and my answering machine?). My husband was giving up on me before I had a chance. I was sick with worry from that point on, and I was going to tell them that I wasn’t interested. But I wasn’t ready to say no just yet. I don’t know why. Instead I told the woman I was in contact with that I would like to hear more about it, and we agreed that she would call me this week (yes, the phone. Joy). I’ll make my decision after that. Who knows. Maybe this will be a good opportunity for me. Maybe this is God’s way of getting me out of my comfort zone. The day this all happened I wrote on as my Facebook status: “I like my comfort zone, thank you very much.” And it’s true. I don’t want to do anything that goes beyond that.
But God tries to get us out of our comfort zones to do His will. As it is, it’s not easy being a Christian in a fallen world. We’re called to go against the grain, and that’s not an easy feat. But we can’t make excuses for not doing something whether it’s eating, working, volunteering, or just helping someone out. If it exceeds our area of comfort, we need to seek Him to help us out. More than likely He’s the one telling us that we need to do this. I have heard so many excuses, “I can’t do it,” “That’s just not me,” “I’m too old,” “I’m too young,” “It’s not my forte,” and so on. Fear, pride, age, time, money, they all tend to weasel their way into our lives, giving us an “out.” We can excuse ourselves to death if we try hard enough.
What would this world look like if Mary had said, “Yeah, great. I don’t think I can do that. I’m too afraid of what my parents and Joseph’s parents would say, not to mention Joseph himself. Besides, I’m too young. Why don’t you find someone a little older than me?” Savior of the world? Where would He be?
Or what if Jesus had given up on Peter when he got out of the boat and tried to walk to Jesus on the water? “Well boy, you blew that one. Maybe you shouldn’t have come out here since your faith is so weak.” I don’t see Jesus saying that.
We can even look at King David’s life. He was called up a couple of times. “Hey David, slay this giant for us, okay?” “Yeah, thanks, but I think I’ll pass. I’m just a shepherd, the youngest of my brothers, and by no means the largest. I’ll just stay here in the field. Thanks anyway.” Or, “You will be the next king.” “Wow, that sounds so great, but I’m happy where I am. No one will want to listen to me, and I know I’m not cut out to be a king. If I were I would not have been born the way I was. Let someone else take it from here.”
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” This is the message Jesus taught us in Matthew 19:26. So if we set our fears, our worries, on Him and learn to trust Him, He will lead us through. Maybe we’ll find that we weren’t meant to do what we thought we were being called to at that moment. Maybe it was actually leading us somewhere else. Or maybe we were called, and as scary as it may be, we should embrace it with God’s help and be the best we could be. It’s a growth process. Learning to trust the Lord will help us grow in Him, and we will be able to do things we have convinced ourselves we can’t do.
I’m still not sure what my answer will be to the position, but I’ve been praying about it, seeking His answer to the question of whether or not this is what I’m being called to. My daughter will, bless her heart, still complain about the foods she swears up and down she does not like whether she has tried it or not, but I know one day she’ll start trying new things and realize just how much she does like. I know that from experience with myself and my change in attitude toward food over the years.
What have you been struggling with, telling yourself that you can’t do for reasons that seem perfectly logical to you? Bring them all to Jesus.
Lord, I just thank You for promising to always be there for us when we need you, knowing that You are always by our side. Remind us daily to bring our cares to You, Lord, and help us to trust in You so we may be able to step out of the comfort zone that we have created for ourselves. You did not create that for us, for You want so much more.