Thursday, December 09, 2010

"the family" on Lauren's wedding day, hiking at the farm...

What an incredible blessing it was to have family with us for several days around Lauren and Weston's wedding!

When I was young, my parents took us on a trip to Washington DC. It was a worthwhile time of touring many things involving government and our US history.

It also left me not desiring a return trip. Perhaps this trip helped shape me into one who much prefers the country to the city.

I was little and much of what I saw was larger than life. Probably the single event that most defines that trip, has had a lasting impact on me.

We were touring the Washington Monument. We boarded an elevator. It was the world's slowest elevator and it was packed full. I've seen smaller crowds with more space in sardine cans. I'm pretty sure it got stuck on the way up. If it didn't, suffice it to say, we could've watched "Gone with the Wind" in its entirety as we rode.

For a little guy, this traumatic event was made much worse by my view. I was just tall enough for my head to be level with the backsides of every adult in that tiny excuse for a "lift." I got a full sensory experience (I wished I had a stuffy nose that day).

When the last words of "War and Peace" had been read, the elevator doors flung open. We would have spilled out quickly except for two things.

1.) We were packed in so tight, no one could move. I'm pretty sure we exceeded the maximum occupancy load for any school bus.

2.) No one wanted to leave because of the smell. No, not the aroma I "enjoyed" on the way up. Rather, right in front of the elevator doors, someone had emptied the contents of their stomach, just in time for our arrival.

I suppose there was a nice view from the top. I really don't remember. What I do remember is that every time I get on an elevator, I relive that memorable day...and the fullness of it's sensory "enticements."

For many years after, I struggled with claustrophobia.

To be truthful, I would break out in a cold sweat anytime I entered elevators, airplanes or any other "crowded" situation. I would leave football games and races early to "beat the crowd."

I was 37 when I finally began to surrender this fear to the Lord.

I was on my first overseas mission trip, headed to Croatia. Months before I left, that same "cold sweat" would visit me, as I anticipated the long plane ride and the attempt by every passenger to get out at the same moment, once the little bell rang to sound it was time to exit.

The Lord revealed Himself to me through that experience. I realized I was allowing fear to invade my mind. He showed me I didn't need to fear, but rather could rely upon Him to help me in my weak moments.

I am still seeking Him to be my strength. I still need His perfection to overcome my weaknesses.

I seldom struggle on planes these days.


Well, my nose and mind still remember the combined smell of, shall we say "dirty laundry" and partially digested food revisited. I take the stairs whenever possible. I still ride elevators. I am marginally taller, so that helps. I do try to stay near the doors.

Anyway, the journey of life includes many "off ramps" that we would not revisit. However, it is these experiences that allow us to see personal growth and enjoy the depths of His love.

He is ALL we need. Celebrate Him through the joys of this season!



Post a Comment

<< Home