Living Forward (Part 1)

Recently, I was making my first ever batch of cream of broccoli soup. Since soup is a bit of a process, I usually make big batches when I decide to embark on this challenge. That made what was to come that much worse.

Here I was in the midst of my first batch of cream of broccoli. We also happened to be in the middle of a 12- day cleanse, so with limited selections, there was no back-up plan for lunch.

Everything was boiled and ready so I took the next step and put everything in the blender. I had just hit the liquefy button, so I put my hand on the top of the lid to secure my contents when I heard the most terrible noise. The plastic insert on the lid had found its way into my soup with the help of my attempt to “secure” the goods. I had no idea what damage 2 seconds and a spinning blade could do to a piece of hard plastic.

There I was, standing in the kitchen, no back-up plan for lunch. My Wednesday Bible study participants are arriving in less than half an hour. Kitchen looks like a mini-tornado has swept through. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was still in my pajamas. It was that kind of day.

I slowly removed the lid engaging in a conversation with myself.

Maybe it’s in 1 or 2 big chunks that I can just take out. Then we can just pretend this never happened. Nope. One big chunk with several little chunks missing. Maybe I can just eat the soup really carefully and spit out the plastic chunks? Better not risk plastic poisoning or an ulcer. Maybe I can strain it? Did I mention the very small shards of plastic?

After about a minute of contemplating my options and realizing there really were none, the lamenting started.

If only I hadn’t turned it to liquefy! If only I hadn’t pushed so hard on the lid! Why did I have to ruin this? I don’t have time for this right now! Not to mention, I’m hungry!

The thought of sitting on the kitchen floor and crying was crossing my mind when I felt like God was tapping me on the shoulder.

It’s done. There’s nothing you can do about it. Move forward.

But… maybe I can… what if…? You can’t change it. Move forward.

At that moment I was reminded of how often I spend time lamenting over things that are completely out of my control. All the while, God is reminding me that I can’t rewrite the past. I can’t change that season of my life. I can’t go back and be a better steward of my resources. I cannot undo what has been done. He prompts and invites me to accept his mercy and grace for the present, and move forward.

Yet, I’m a dweller. Instead of letting Him take me by the hand and continue on the path, I often want to just sit down and lament a while. I’m not sure why I feel like it’s a good use of my time to dialogue with myself about what cannot be changed. Yet for some reason, I find myself doing in. Often. I replay scenarios. I think, if only I had done that differently. What if I’d obeyed God right away? Did I invest my time and energy into the right thing? Could something have been different?

Rather than the what if's and if only's, He invites me to seek Him with the living forward question, what now God?

In spite of what has just happened, what do you want me to do now? He always has an answer for that one. A good one. 

There was a lesson for me in my ruined batch of soup, but I must confess, moving on from a ruined recipe is much easier than some of the challenges that life brings our way.

Stay tuned. I will be sharing with you two much more serious challenges to live forward recently faced by dear friends of mine with precious babies. Trust me, you will be challenged, encouraged and blessed by their stories.