I just got up from a nap with my beautiful wife, Cheeks, or, as some of you know her, Amber. I kept thinking. When my mind starts churning, there’s no sleeping. And, it usually means I’m not that tired.
Last week, my wife told me that I was on for worship leader at church today. I thanked the good Lord I married a woman who remembers details like this and made a mental note. So, on Saturday, she reminded me again and I added it to my list of things to do that day: get ready to lead worship.
I went off into the room where I do these sorts of things and spent about two hours reading and preparing for the church service at Bethany Mennonite. When I was about 80% done, I declared it good enough for one day. Besides, God had given me so many good things to work with, if I never prepared the final 20% (pack up the items I needed for children’s time, print out the outline, etc.), I’d probably be fine.
We had friends over that evening to play some games. We ended up playing Rook. After they left, I just didn’t want to finish my preparations so I didn’t. I knew I’d have enough time in the morning.
Sunday morning came quickly. I got up and looked over my order of service and started tying up the loose ends. I was making great progress. Amber asked when I wanted to leave – 9:15 I told her. 9:15 came and went as it always does and she informed me she’d go start the car and brush off the snow that fell on Saturday. I packed some things up, told her I was headed to the office to grab a set of speakers I left there and then I’d be down to pick her up. She said she’d be waiting with the stuff I had laying out when I got back.
I drove to camp, got the speakers and on my way home saw Cheeks walking up the road. She hopped in the car and we pulled back in at home so I could grab bungee cords for the Christmas tree we were picking up after church. We were down into Hale Hollow, about a mile and a half from our house when I asked her if she grabbed my computer, which had a song I wanted to play to open the service with. She said no. I slammed on the breaks and slid a ways in the snow. Slammed it into reverse and immediately started getting angry. I was angry with myself for not double checking that everything was in the car, angry with her for forgetting and disappointed that this great opening I had for church would be lost forever (the song was Prepare ye the Way of the Lord from Godspell and the theme of this particular advent morning was about preparation).
I was spinning the tires, swearing, beeping the horn, generally throwing a fit. Picture the tantrum of a 15 year-old girl with language and depth of a 27 year-old man. After realizing I just didn’t have time to go back and get my computer nor would any more outbursts change anything, I resolved to stew in silence.
This outburst in some odd way prepared me to receive the message that our scriptures so openly profess. The message that we as humans are never far from realizing our worst potential and that in spite of that fact, God loves us and continues to invite us in.
And now we have come full circle. That someone would sit through the kind of tantrum that I displayed and witness a high degree of ugliness, then hours later lay her head on his chest in trust and love is astounding.
I just got up from a nap with my beautiful wife, Cheeks, or, as some of you know her, Amber.
May you trust that Amber is proof of God and that our God is love.