MAY 18, 2018

Life Happens

Dear Church,

The boys and I got Sarah a hanging basket of flowers for Mother’s Day.  She had been dropping hints. But what she really wanted was about three hours of quiet and rest.  The day before she was at her cousin’s wedding in Detroit, got back to her parents’ house at 1:00am, got on the road at 6:00am to be back in South Holland for church.  So, what she really wanted was a nap.  I was happy to comply with this wish.  I took the boys golfing.  With all the rain we’ve had, there were no carts allowed on the course.  No biggie.  I like walking with the boys.  So, I put Will’s clubs in my bag, along with Bram’s one club, and headed down the fairway.  I took a picture of them at hole 3 posing with their clubs after their tee shots.  I sent it to Sarah.

Halfway through hole 4 Bram was dragging behind.  I figured his little legs just couldn’t keep up.  I asked if he wanted me to carry him.  He said he was “low on energy,” so I picked him up and started walking with him.  Keep in mind I have my clubs, Will’s clubs and Bram’s club on my back as well.  The sun started to come out and I started dripping sweat.  We made it to hole 6 before I said, “I think this will be our last hole.”  Will piped a drive down the right side of the fairway.  I had a terrible shot and was about to walk to my ball when I heard that awful sound little boys make when they are scared because of the uncontrollable vomit protruding from their mouths.  Will started freaking out.  I quickly ran over to Bram who, just as I bent down to care for him, threw up a second time all over my sweat-soaked shirt and golf bag.  I start to gag, quickly breathing out of my mouth in the hope I don’t throw up at the sight or smell of what just happened.

So, there we were in the middle of the fairway on the 6th hole, about a half mile away from the clubhouse.  I took off my quarter-zip that was covered in vomit and used the sleeves to wipe Bram’s nose and face.  I took the little bit of water left in my water bottle, gave it to Bram to sip and then took the rest to try and wash away the apple chunks in the middle of the fairway.  (Thankfully we had a good rain later that night, so I’m quite confident the course will be fineJ).

I scooped Bram up in my arms and he immediately fell asleep.  We made the half-mile trek back to the clubhouse where I set Bram down on a bench, so I could clean myself up a bit.  I picked him up again and he woke up feeling “much better Dad.”  We drove home with all four windows down as to avoid the rancid smell coming from our vomit-soaked clothes.  We headed home and no more than an hour later Will came into the living room with a 103.6 fever and later that night he followed cue and threw up in our bedroom.

Happy Mother’s Day.  I’m sure you have a similar story or stories.  Life happens.  We can’t prepare for everything.  Our best laid plans, more often than not, never turn out.  And all the idyllic dreams of how we think things should turn out go out the window when your kid throws up on you!  Pastor Mel says, “Life is what happens in between the plans you make.”  I think he’s right.

No matter where you are right now in life, my guess is that you have some plans in the works.  Something you’re organizing, preparing, and planning.  And all those things are great, but don’t be surprised if something comes along out of the blue and changes all those plans.  Small stuff like sick kids and big stuff like cancer.  And if you can’t handle the small stuff, then what will happen to us when the big stuff comes?  What will our faith be like then?  How will our attitudes and emotions be then?  That’s not to say we live life waiting for the next bad thing to happen, but I do think it should cause us to be thankful for the simple blessings of each day.  You never know when you’ll end up in the middle of the fairway with vomit on your shirt.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Matt