The Greatest Commandment

Love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In All the Wrong Places...

A couple of nights ago, I was running out to meet a friend at her house to make a hula-hoop. Yes, a hula-hoop! She is a fellow colleague who has used this technique with her clients, and I was thrilled that she was willing to show me how to make them! Very cool, VERY therapeutic, and very fun!!See??

However… this is not what I’m blogging about.

Now... you’ve got to realize I’ve been on crutches for 6 weeks because of a broken foot and ankle. (don’t run in high heels…) It takes A LOT of effort to get to and from the car (anywhere, really), and if I have to carry anything with me, it’s that much harder. So… I’m looking around the kitchen for my keys and they aren’t where I usually put them. I looked in the bedroom and couldn’t find them in there either. Assuming I had left them in the car, I crutch out the door, down the steps and across the gravel driveway to my car. (I can’t park in the garage because it’s too narrow to get my crutches through!!!) Finally, I make it to the car. Guess what? NO KEYS. I look under the seats, looked in the console… everywhere. NO KEYS. Ugh.
Back inside the house I go… another small feat. So I get inside and basically look in all of the same places and maybe a few more. Nope. Can’t find them. I was beginning to think I’d lost my mind. Better yet, I need one of those clapper things that will find your lost stuff!! Where in the world could they be?? What was I wearing? I looked in jean pockets, jacket pockets… everywhere. After about 10 minutes of searching, not only was I worn out, I was at a loss to where those stinking (but ever so important) keys were. Back out to the car I went… perhaps I didn’t look hard enough. Again… I looked in the same spots. NO KEYS. Finally, I decided to look in the back of the car to see if I had a bag or anything that my spare keys might be. (don’t even ask why I don’t know where the spare keys are…) I hobbled to the back of the car, opened the hatch… and TADA. There they were. Why on earth were they in the back of the car???? All I can figure is that when I got home the day before, I must have put them there while I picked up something else and forgot them. Who knows?!? But at least I found them! 

The funny thing is… they were right there the whole time! I was just looking in the wrong places! And I WORE myself PLUM OUT by doing so.

About 10 years ago I was living in Chattanooga, TN. We lived in this old house that was built in the 1930’s. I LOVED it. 

Not only was the house quirky with all of the little hiding places that old houses have, it also had TONS of beautiful flowers that came up year after year. Tulips (my fav!), lilies, antiqued Roses, you name it…  Every year during that pre-spring – post winter season, the yard would fill up with Daffodils. I LOVE those things! Not just because they are pretty, but because for me, it’s always God’s reminder of what’s to come! A beautiful spring and summer with gorgeous blooms everywhere you look! So every year when I see them, I get so so excited!!

Well… the last year that we were in the house I was struggling with leaving Chattanooga. I simply loved it there, and didn’t want to leave my friends and “family.” That year, during the Daffodil time, every yard had these beautiful reminders that spring was right around the corner. MY yard, however, had nothing. I waited and I waited. Where were they? I actually became even more bummed than I already was… all because of those silly flowers not showing up at MY house. Why couldn’t I have them?? Actually, I think I dwelled on it so much that it became more about everything wrong in my life than it was the flowers… but, needless to say… I was not happy about the lack of their appearance in MY yard. (MY yard… it’s all about ME, right?? Haha)

 So… I had finally given up on the flowers. I pouted and started the process of preparing for a move. One morning I was upstairs cleaning and packing the girls’ bathroom when something out their bathroom window caught my attention. I looked out to see what was in the back yard but didn’t see anything. However, my eyes drifted to the very far corner of the yard… way back in the place that we really hadn’t focused on that year because we were working so hard to make the front look spic-and-span to sell the house… and guess what was back there? You got it. DAFFODILS.

God spoke to my heart in that very moment.

You have been looking for happiness in all of the wrong places. It’s been here the whole time, right under your nose, but you wouldn’t open your eyes to see it. Why do you stay focused on what you don’t have, rather than what you DO have? You just might be surprised to find that what you DO have is all you need... and what you have been looking for all along. 

Romans 15:13 says “May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Just like those durn keys, I was looking in the wrong place to find my prize! I was looking for hope, joy and peace in flowers, people, Chattanooga, etc… but I wasn’t looking for it in God. He is the one who can give us everything we need for complete happiness. When I finally gave up, the keys and the flowers both turned out to be right there, with a message from God in them both. “You are looking in all the wrong places…”

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”  Romans 5:1-4

I know that a lot of times, I look for happiness in the wrong places, especially in people. The lost keys this week were a wonderful reminder of this, and I am thankful for the gift of Holy Spirit, who opens the eyes of my heart when He speaks. Ever so gently, His whispers remind me, guide me, lead me and grant me peace. True peace.

Are you looking in the wrong places?

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