A few days before Kimberly’s transplant, Kimberly, Joshua, and myself had a “family fun day.” We went swimming, ate ice cream, played video games, mini golf, and more. It was awesome. Knowing we had a a few weeks of hard road ahead of us, we wanted to kick-back and enjoy a day as a family before it all began.
One of our last stops on this family fun tour was a place called Andy Alligator’s Fun Park. If you are not from Norman and have never seen this place, it looks exactly like it sounds: arcade, mini-golf, bowling, go karts . . . the works. This place is one country music show away from Branson. We spent most of our time in the arcade. We played a bunch of games that Josh really enjoyed. After a while playing the “kiddie games,” Josh wanted to go for broke and hunt deer on one of the “big boy games.” Thankfully, there were two guns that came with this game, so we each grabbed one to play together. When I looked at the cost of the game, however, I saw that it was $1 per game. Knowing that Josh would not be able to hit the targets, I paid for only one game . . . mine. I did not tell Josh, though. When the game started, we both fired our fake weapons at the screen. Josh (of course) took credit for each big elk shot. Because I love him, I never told him otherwise. Someday, when he gets older, he will understand more of what was going on. For now, I loved watching him enjoy his part in the game.
I mention this story tonight because I am having somewhat of a hard day. We have certainly had a hard week, and that has contributed to my feelings tonight, but my anxiousness tonight goes somewhat deeper. Like many “type a” people, I revel in getting things done. I excel in giving my time and energy to accomplishing something. In many of the key areas of my life, however, I currently feel totally out of control . . . and that is bothersome to me.
On a macro level, Kimberly’s transplant is going great. The new kidney seems to be working great, every day we see small progress, and we have just spent our first 24 hours out of the hospital. However, as I have transitioned into the “nurse” role at the Robinson house, I have found myself unable to be able to do what I most want done . . . help my wife feel better. No matter what I do, I can’t help her sleep, cough, breath, or feel better. The combo of the trach (which makes her cough) and the incisions (which hurt when she coughs) makes parts of her day miserable . . . and I can do nothing to change that. Her stomach is rumbly but no food I bring to the table can make her stomach accept it well. These are normal issues following the kinds of surgeries Kimberly had last week, but it is hard to see those situations play out and not be able to do anything about it.
Also, I am the kind of person who always carries the responsibility I feel given to me, so I have struggled with being gone from my post at the church during the “fall kickoff” that is August. Especially in a season where we have a lot of things we are trying to launch for this fall, and our staff team has been scattered for most of the summer. I feel the inner (not external, but internal) pressure to reengage at the church to push things forward. (Don’t worry . . . I am taking time off, but I still feel the tension.)
As I was getting dinner ready tonight, I found myself tensing up over these feelings of being out of control. That’s when God reminded me of my time with Josh at Andy Alligator’s two weeks ago. It was as if God was whispering in my ear, reminding me that in all the areas of my life, he is the One who is always pulling the trigger. Though I spend much of my time with my “weapon” in hand firing at the screen, ultimately, it is always only God who is hitting the target. He allows me to stand beside Him and play because He loves the Father/son time it brings . . . however, He does not need me to accomplish His work at home or at church. I feel as though in this season God has taken the gun out of my hand and asked me to watch Him work . . . in my wife and at church. These are tough lessons to learn, but important ones nonetheless. It is a humbling but important reminder . . . a push to trust in Him. Someday soon, I will be asked to pick the gun back up. When I do, I need to remember that it is my Father who bought the game, and it is my Father who takes aim and does the work in every area that really matters. He wants us in the game, but without His work, we can accomplish nothing. Sometimes, we have to have the gun taken out of hands to remind us of that. It is a tough, but beautiful reminder.
I don’t know if any of you can relate to this. The experiences you are going through are probably different . . . but the principle still holds true. We are all less important than we think . . . but we all get to stand beside our Father who equips us and invites us to watch Him work around us and through us to accomplish His will.