Monday, November 5, 2007


This past Halloween, my kids and I went out trick-or-treating.  I don’t know where you all stand on Halloween.  I’m not sure where I stand on it either.  I just know that my kids looked really cute as a train and a sheriff and people were willing to give us free stuff. And I love free stuff.  Plus it’s a great time to see the neighbors we never see.  I wanted to go and knock on the door of the house that always has a strange blue glow coming from behind the curtained windows.  The list of what that light could be grows long in my imagination.  Is it a home tanning bed and is their skin all dark and leathery like a purse from the hours of compulsive tanning?  It doesn’t flicker so it’s not the TV.  Maybe they are gardeners and they are gingerly tending their baby tomatoes under grow lights.  Or they’re growing drugs.  Needless to say, Laura wouldn’t let me knock.  I was disappointed. 


So we get home, and the kids unload their sugary bounty and we tell them that they can only have two pieces tonight or else their heads will spin around and pop off.  Or they’ll throw up.  It’ll be one or the other.  Both boys picked a candy bar and a box of “Nerds”.  For anyone who doesn’t know, “Nerds” are little, colored, sour candies that look like shrunken head versions of a Sweet Tart.  Anyway, we dumped the little candies into bowls for the boys.  Brehm had purple ones and Elijah had pink.  Then it began. 


“Mom.  I want a pink one!”

“No son.  You have your own”

“Mom.   Brehm took mine!”

We look and find pink Nerds in Brehm’s purple Nerd bowl. 

“Son, did you take those from your brother?”  

“Go sit in time-out for lying and we are giving some of your Nerds to Elijah.”


We wait for the time-out to be over.  Meanwhile, ninjas and princesses are ringing our doorbell begging for treats and threatening retribution, or “tricks” if said treats are not dispensed.  You gotta love a holiday based on extortion.


With the time-out over, Brehm goes back to his bowl and the first thing he notices is that some of his purple Nerds are now in Elijah’s bowl.  In fact, it’s the only thing he notices.  It consumes his mind.  He dances and cries and insists that he wants purple Nerds.  All the time, he has a full bowl of purple Nerds sitting there.  They, apparently, are invisible. The only thing he cares about are the, literally, five Nerds in his brother’s bowl that “should have been his”.  Finally the Nerds get taken away and they get nothing.  Parental justice.  Look out.  He missed what was his because he wanted what his brother had.


I don’t know about you, but I’ve done that.  I’ve missed what God had for me, all because I was too busy desiring what God was doing in someone else’s life.  Basically I wanted God’s timing and plan for their life and not what He had for me.  I’ve been so focused on the “Nerds” in someone else’s bowl, that I’ve ignored the bowl full of Nerds in front of me.  It all boils down to trust and gratitude.  Do I trust that what God has for me is the best for me?  Do I trust that His timing is perfect?  Am I grateful for all He has given me already? Some of the biggest mistakes in the history of Israel were made because they wanted something other than what God had for them.  They wanted the “idol nerds” of their neighbors, or their “king nerds” and forgot about the whole bowl of “chosen people nerds” right in front of them. 


Sometimes I think I need to read Psalm 145 everyday.  It says, “The Lord sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down.  The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time.  You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”  I need to remember that the part that says “…every living thing.” includes me.  And it includes you.