Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday Memory (2008)

This was written the day after Ash Wednesday last year. I am sharing it here because I wasn't too active in the blog world at the time I wrote it, so most of you have probably never seen it unless you're on my facebook or myspace pages.

reflections from the last 24 hours:

I overslept this morning. But that's not the story.

I got pulled over last night. But that's not the story either. Well...not really.

Ok, so I was feeling *really* good last night. I'm on my way home from Mass thinking how this Lenten season is going to be so spiritually building for me and how I think I finally have things in perspective...bad thoughts.

I was fully praising God--I was singing one of the songs the choir did, I mean I had my hand raised and everything. I completely lost track of...well, everything. And then I saw the cop...

After I pulled over I couldn't remember where my hazard lights were. Seriously, I must have looked for them the entire time it took him to pull in behind me and walk up to the car. Because I literally turned them on and he knocked on my window. So of course now I'm thinking ' he thinks I was looking for something and is going to search the car.'

He was absolutely the nicest cop that has ever pulled me over. And I was completely honest with him...I mean I had ashes on my head for crying out loud...I told him I was praising and got carried away.

He comes back to the car and hands me my ticket to sign (yeah. don't even get me started on the fact that I have NEVER been pulled over and NOT gotten a ticket. Seriously. Good thing I'm rarely pulled over!) I joked that this was a nice way to start off Lent and he says "I'm sorry. I really hope this doesn't put a damper on things for you". Yeah. Like it's his fault, right?

He then proceeds to tell me that they're always in that spot so to make sure I'm within 10 miles above the limit when I pop that hill. (yeah. he tells me that and *still* I get a ticket!). And then he tells me that he really likes my glasses. See? Told you. Nicest cop ever.

He pulls off and I can't find my license anywhere. I mean, we're talking dump the purse, search the glove compartment, get out of the car looking. I finally gave up and called the police (furthering the "Lora is an idiot" claim) and they call him...he tells them it's not in his car. I later get a voice mail from HIM saying "I'm sure it'll turn up in your car. I distinctly remember handing it to you and you switched it from your left to right hand." So meanwhile I'm having nightmares about being pulled over again and having to tell them "I'm sorry, I don't have my license. I think the other cop must have it."

So by the time I get home I'm pretty worked up. I dump my stuff in the house and go back out to the car to look under the seats and all (because you don't want to do that on Briley Parkway). No license. I walk back in the house and trying to calm myself with a bit of humor I say:

"Who's that patron saint of lost things again?!?"

Now, I don't often claim to hear the 'Voice of God'...actually, I don't think I've ever claimed that. But I swear to you, at that very moment I heard:

"I am all you need"

I started to say something and heard it again.

"I am all you need"

Whoa. God of the universe has just taken my joke and made it into a serious moment.

At this point I just lost it. Began crying and shouting "I know! I know You are all I need. But I don't feel that way right now. and I haven't in awhile. I want to, but I don't."

Whew. Can we say a year of frustration and questioning all came to a head in that moment? God and I had some talking to do.

A few moments later--after that chat--I put on my pajamas and decided to look in the car one more time. I grabbed a flashlight, opened the door, and the light hit it. It had *somehow* landed under the seatbelt hook on the floor.

(makes you wonder, doesn't it?) my opinion, this is an awfully expensive way to learn that God is all I need. Apparently all the free ways were taken. In the grand scheme of things, a ticket and temporarily lost license are not that big of a deal. But if I don't trust who He is in the little things, how will I trust him when the next bombshell comes? Because...there will be one. No amount of not going to retreats or withdrawing away from people I love will change that.

So that's what I learned yesterday, as cliche as it sounds. God is all I need. He is present in ALL things--even those situations we've been dealing with lately that seem so ungodly.

And one more thing...if you tend to worship as you drive, I highly recommend cruise control!



Leslie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story!! I go to an Assembly of God church and they don't "do" lent. So, today at lunch I'm going to mass with one of my friends. Happy Ash Wednesday! :) work on that speed thing will ya? :)

Noah's Mommy said...

what a story...and I totally think I've been there myself....It's not a good day if I don't lose something....happy SITS day

Lora said...

Leslie, they don't "do" Lent at my church fact I'm pretty sure when I appear at my church with my ashes tonight I'll have several people point out that I have "something on my head". Sigh. Ah well. :0)