Everything has a place…even the nuts
I vividly remember February 14, 2002. Victoria’s 7 year-old eyes slowly scanned the Valentine loot scattered on the kitchen table. Pushing aside the small white envelopes that bore her name, treat-filled plastic bags and the wrappings of the candy that didn’t survive the ride home, she reached for the large, red, heart-shaped box.
“And who is this for?” she asked, her voice filled with hope that she was the intended recipient.
“Sorry. I bought it for your Dad,” I replied while thinking that Victoria’s choice of the Whitman sampler was pretty impressive.
“Can I open it?” she boldly questioned.
“Well… okay,” I answered after deciding that Michael wouldn’t mind. By the time he returned home from his business trip, he’d barely notice it anyway.
I continued, “Just don’t lose the little map inside. It lets you know where each type of candy is located.”
Michael doesn’t like surprises. With regards to candy and to life, he wants to know what’s in store for him before he sinks his teeth into it.
“Okay, I won’t lose it,” she happily promised as I left the kitchen.
Only moments after she ripped the cellophane from the candy that it had been protecting, Victoria found me in the study. Her solemn expression informed me that her next words had been carefully chosen.
“I didn’t lose the map,” she quietly began, “but I dropped the box and all of the candy fell out and I don’t know where any of it belongs.”
In her defense, I never told her not to drop the candy. I only asked her to guard the map. She followed me into the kitchen where we began to pick up the candy. (You can eat off my kitchen floor. Not because it’s clean, but because there’s usually lots of food there.)
The bounty of strewn sweets began to dwindle as we attempted to return each piece to its proper place. It was a difficult task, except for the cashews. It’s easy to spot a nut, even when it is covered in chocolate and trying to masquerade as a candy.
And so it is with life…
Sometimes we drop the box. The pieces of our lives are then in disarray and suddenly we don’t know where anything belongs. Spouses, children, jobs, ministries, unspoken dreams, friends, and even nutty relatives (did I say that, or did I just think it?) viciously vie for our attention. They all start to look the same, except for the nuts. They’re easy to spot, even when they try to masquerade as something sweet.
I am so grateful for God Who takes the scattered portions of my life and returns them to their proper place. Even the nuts.
Ronny Michel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.