Sunday, December 05, 2010

Lemons and Lessons

I own a lemon. I bought it at the very end of October. It was an ugly shade of red, in the right price range, and it got an all clear from a mechanic that I took it to. The very first car I've ever taken to a mechanic before purchasing, ironically enough.

Two weeks after purchase, my brakes failed. $466.95 to fix.
Not even two weeks after that, a pulley withered away and they had to drop my engine to get to it. $480 to fix.
Just barely a week later some unknown issue with my transmission won't allow the car to shift gears. The mechanic I talked to thinks he knows what it is and if my lemon has the piece on the outside of the transmission it's a fairly easy fix. If it's inside the transmission it's going to be like having my transmission rebuilt. I had to have it towed - $$$ - and tomorrow I find out what the official verdict is for the lemon.

As I sat for nearly an hour waiting for the lemon tow guy to arrive I simply had to ask something: "God, did I tick You off?"

I've been spoiled with so many blessings that it's easy to confuse blessings with favor and problems with disfavor. But as I sat there, pondering when you give up on a lemon and how long a person should keep trying or whether I'm a doofus for having tried this long; I couldn't help but ask that question. Are You mad at me?

But tonight, sitting here with a kitten in my lap I considered how pathetic I should become.
I got this dumb kitten maybe a month ago. It was right after the kids left the house, the neighbors had several kittens whose momma cat had died shortly after birth and the lady and her husband had been bottle feeding them. Finally at 4 weeks old the husband was giving them away or taking them to a shelter. I felt bad for the kittens, and considered how having one of these in the house would help keep me firm on my decision not to foster again (pet rules are ridiculous); I snagged one.

Today, still insanely small and likely as not to die just from being underfoot, this kitten has one huge preference in life: it just wants to sit in my lap. The moment I sat down to write this blog I had to remove it from my lap 3 times in just the few moments it took to put my laptop in my lap. Even now, he's wedged himself onto my lap right inbetween me and the laptop.

He follows me around the house - even trails me next door and back when I go to visit. He's almost - almost - as good as a dog.

But he's also obnoxious too and he's had some special moments where he was "taught" that some things weren't allowed in the house. The first time he climbed on my piano for example... But he has yet to hold a grudge. He never seems to worry about discipline no matter how strict or frustrated I get with him. He just does what he wants, and is slowly learning what not to do - and that the word "no" means something.

No matter what though, when I sit down I can fully expect that he is going to come climbing up.

It may seem irreverent but I couldn't help but think - so what if God is mad at me? God, if You are mad, teach me, lead me, smack me around with difficult circumstances until I learn to do what You want me to do. I'm sorry I'm stupid and undisciplined about some things - but while You're teaching me, just let me be in Your presence. Let me sit with You, let me be near You.
Hurt me if You must, bankrupt me with lemon after lemon, take my health, take my family. But God, when You sit, I want to sit with You. As You walk from room to room, I want to follow You. When I see You walk out the door, Lord I want You to have to restrain me to keep me from following after You.

I'm diligent in my life to try and not be "needy" towards people. They have their own burdens and don't need mine so I take care of myself and rarely look to others asking for support. But I'm constantly needing the reminder that I need to be needy with God. I need to be the pathetic little kitten that just got in trouble that doesn't care that it's in trouble as long as it's in His presence.

Perhaps one day I'll be as smart as this dumb kitten.

Though I'm not sure if God might be more of a dog-person.

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