Actually, this is something I wrote back in March, but since I didn’t have this website yet at that time, I am just now getting around to posting this. It’s a funny story (in retrospect) and just another one of those trying times (how many times do I have to relearn James 1:2-5?) that I’ve experienced since I trusted Christ as my Savior.
I sent this out to the folks in our Crown study group initially, so before you read it I will mention something that might not be obvious if you’ve never gone through Crown. The “Quit Claim Deed” you’ll hear me mention refers to a document you fill out and sign in the second week of the Crown study. You basically list all of the things that you have attached “ownership” to and recognize them as belonging to God, because really we are just stewards over the things God has entrusted us with. So we list as many things as we can think of and recognize God as being the one who really owns things like our house, our kids, our jobs, our money, our furniture, our clothes, etc., etc. And then you pass them around the second week and other people witness and sign your Quit Claim Deed to hold you accountable.
A True Dog Day
I really do think God puts me through this stuff sometimes not just because I have a lesson to learn, but also because I amuse Him in the process and in the retelling. At least I hope that’s why and I hope I do. Anyway, it seems to me that God definitely has a sense of humor, and I am thankful He’s blessed me with one, too. Otherwise I would be locked up in an asylum somwehere, I’m sure. I’ll warn you right now, this is a long rambler, but then so was last Thursday so I’ll warn you now, sit down and hang on tight. It’ll be a bit of a ride.
Sometimes I feel like I am trapped in some kind of neverending Steve Martin movie–like a hodge podge of Parenthood, Planes Trains & Automobiles, and Cheaper by the Dozen… with a little of bit of The Jerk thrown in, too, I guess. I should “not call that dog Lifesaver”… I cannot say that I’m looking forward to adding Father of the Bride to the mix any time soon.
So, my Thursday last week actually started on Wednesday. We just wrapped up Week 2 of our Crown lesson–“God’s Part and Our Part”. Signed the Quit Claim Deed and acknowledged God as being in control of everything. You all know the verse, “EVERYTHING in the heavens and earth is Yours, O Lord, and this is Your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind. Your hand controls power and might; and it as your discretion that men are made great and given strength.” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12) I had no idea what kind of object lesson was in store over the next 24 hours to really drive that verse home and make it personal.
I stopped and got gas on the way home from Crown last Wednesday night, and on the way home, I was trying to shove my wallet back into my pocket. At least I’m pretty sure this was after I got gas. Mostly sure. My pocket wasn’t cooperating, and I decided to just stick my wallet in the console, making a mental note that I wouldn’t have to worry about it in the morning because it would already be in the car. So when I got up and got all my stuff together to go to the airport Thursday morning, I didn’t think anything of it that my wallet wasn’t with my phone and keys. About 15 minutes on the way out, right before I got to 287, I had this strange panicky feeling that I’d better make sure I had my wallet. So I turned the light and checked the console. Not there. Uh-oh. I pulled over. Checked the seats real good, the space between the seats and the console, seats and the door. Getting sort of a hot, flushed feeling–something’s wrong here. Then I suddenly remember that after deciding to leave my wallet in the console, I went ahead and tried getting it back in my pants pocket again because I figured I’d be so tired in the morning, I would forget that I left it in the car and might freak out when I couldn’t find it. Hahaha.
Now in my defense, I was up at like 4am every morning last week and had worked like three 15 hour days straight. My brain wasn’t quite right. So I suddenly remember that I DID put the wallet back in my pocket, and now I’m really freaking out because I’m afraid I may miss my flight. I drive back home and check all the usual places, can’t find it. Pulling out furniture, pulling out cushions, how could there be so much crap on the couch, aarrrrgghhhh!!! Run outside, check the driveway, ransack the car again–oh man, I have to go! I’m sure I’m going to miss my flight. I book it to the airport–glad I didn’t get pulled over since I didn’t have an ID or insurance, and yes I was most definitely speeding! Got there about 35 minutes before my flight took off, searched the car one last time, popped the trunk (evidently). Ran to the terminal, printed up my ticket, then went to go plead my case with a TSA guard, and he said, “Don’t worry about it, you can still get on the plane. You’ll just have to go through extra security.” Whew! That’s a load off.
I go through security, get the pat-down, extended bag search and all that, get to my gate and have five minutes to spare. I call my bank and tell them I can’t find my wallet and make sure no one has been charging on my card because maybe I really did drop it at the gas station. Nope, no charges. They cancel my card and issue another one. Board the plane, and call Kim to see if she can fax a copy of my license to my the Hertz rental place for me. She tells me to call my mom b/c she should still have a copy from the flight I took up there last year when airport security kept (lost) my license–that would be the only other time I had a rental in my name up in Kansas City. I call mom and tell her what happened and ask her if she’ll go ahead and get the number for Hertz at the airport in Kansas City and fax my driver’s license up there. No problem.
Right after we land, it occurs to me that our newest addition to our stray animal collection has a habit of burying his chew toys (and newspapers and other assorted items) in the yard, and I think, “Man, I wonder if that dang dog got ahold of my wallet and buried it?” Send Kim a text message to that effect. Call my mom to find out if she faxed a copy of my license over. She says they wouldn’t take it; I have to fill out some kind of form from the Texas DPS or DMV or something. “And,” she says, “I found your check card, Sam’s card, Border’s card, and a couple other cards scattered around over by the blue shed. But I didn’t find your wallet.” Great. Mystery solved. Those were all the loose cards that would probably go flying during a monster dog head-shake or a tug of war match with our other outside dog. Wish I hadn’t canceled that check card now. I can’t even write a check for cash at my bank without a driver’s license–that’s still MIA with AMEX card, social security card, building key card, health insurance cards, and car insurance.
Well, Chris (my boss that I’m traveling with) switches the car into his name, but then they won’t add me as an authorized driver because I don’t have a license. I thought I was going to have to cry for the lady behind the counter to get her to just take the fax copy of my driver’s license to add me on, but she finally did–no tears required. I also had to borrow enough cash for lunch and to get back OUT of the airport in Dallas when I fly back home later. Humbling!
After I got back from Kansas City that night, I think I wandered around the wrong level of the parking garage for about 20 minutes before I finally got on the right level and found my car. As I’m walking up I notice there’s a really big, bright orange sticker attached to my driver window. Oh great, that can’t be good. Oh–and look, I left my interior light on, too. I guess from when I looked for my wallet that last time. Let’s see–what does this sticker say? My property was found–what!? In an “unsecured” state? What does that mean!? Oh, there are notes here–trunk was found open, no signs of forced entry, closed trunk/resecured vehicle. Oh man. I hope it starts. Yep it does. Unbelievable. I’m pulling out of the airport, and as I glance at the clock I realize that it was just over 24 hours ago that I asked everyone in my Crown class during prayer requests to pray for me to have safe travel there and back. I must say, those prayers were answered and God was so much better to me than I deserved. I was panicky, stressed, anxious, freaking out–and for a time, completely unaware that regardless of the fact I had apparently no control over anything that was happening, God is always sovereign and in complete control.
I wish I could say I was completely trusting and that I had perfect peace through a “storm” that turned out to be just a little bit of fog. But, despite some high levels of self-imposed stress and some funny stories to tell afterward, I can look back at it now and say, “God your faithfulness is so much greater than mine. I am so glad You are the one in control!”
I guess it is time to pull out the Quit Claim Deed and add “Wallet + Contents” on there. There is no denying that there for a little while I totally forgot it was God’s wallet (God’s credit cards, God’s insurance, etc.). And I must admit I absolutely blamed the dog for the entire day, but now that I’ve got my perspective straightened out, I know that it isn’t the D-O-G, but G-O-D that giveth and that taketh away. Hopefully I’ve learned this lesson; I can’t say it’s one I’d like to repeat!
March 5, 2008
By the way, if you are interested in learning more about God’s principles for stewardship and how to better serve Him in ALL areas of your life, I would strongly suggest checking out Crown Financial Ministries. You can learn more at: