Recently my husband overheard a conversation outside at Starbucks. The fellow coffee drinker was incredibly irked by the fact that the customs line at the Frankfort airport was so long. His trip was over and he was safely back home again but he was still brewing over the inconvenience of his travels. “Really?” I said when my husband told me that story, “He needs to get a real problem!”
I don’t want to become bitter and resentful towards others but comparison will do that and it’s easy to sarcastically say, “Boy that guy’s got it really bad if he has to wait in line at the airport!” All the time I’m thinking I’ll be lucky if we ever travel overseas again.
Then after several hours of simmering I realized that I too have been through the Frankfort airport. And yes, the customs line is horrendous. It’s long and confusing and there are so many travelers being bossed around by airport officials and it does take a really long time to get through the whole process. I can appreciate that. I hope I will also appreciate that if I ever am blessed to travel again, after everything we’ve been through these last couple of months, I will gladly put up with all those generally irritating things and be deeply grateful for the bigger picture of God’s gifts. I’ve started talking with other moms of special needs kids. Many of them say, “I just don’t want to hear mommas complaining about problems with their healthy kids.” On some level I get that too. But the reality is I’ve been that mom. The one who is constantly frustrated that her son won’t eat vegetables or anything with nuturional value, let alone spaghetti, or mac n’ cheese, or basically anything terribly unhealthy that kids eat. Or I’ve been irritated that he is trying to push back his bedtime and taking forever to fall asleep because its stealing from my time. I think back to those things and think I had no idea how good I had it. AND those were real frustrations to me at the time.
Everyone is given a different set of circumstances in life. Some are more difficult than others. There’s no way to explain it away. Bad things happen to good people all the time. We tend to deal with our lot in life depending on our perspective toward it – NOT that that’s always easy! I’m being forced to have a more eternal perspective because right now things just royally suck down here.
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance. – Psalm 16: 5-6
This is my favorite verse for when comparison starts to creep in. When I start whining about what I don’t have. When what I do have isn’t good enough.
Yet… God thinks differently. He’s given me everything in His Son. A delightful inheritance. I’m betting everything on it.
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!