So, um, few new things learned today:
1. Mice can be as big as hamsters and they can climb bookshelves…
2. A security deposit is the money you give in advance to renting an apartment.
3. You can never embarrass God.
Last night, while I was struggling to get to sleep, I kept hearing a rustling noise from somewhere on Bree’s side of the room. I flipped on my desk lamp and saw the trash can move. I gave the mouse, wherever it was, a chance to get out of the can before I put it on Bree’s desk so he couldn’t get to it. But then, after I’d turned the light off, I heard another rustling. Turning the lamp back on, I looked at the trash can, expecting the little booger to climb out and scurry across the floor. But it wasn’t in the garbage can; it was on top of the bookshelf where Bree kept her food. And this mouse was no “little booger,” but rather it was about the size of a hamster with a long pink tail.
And I said I wasn’t afraid of mice.
Gollum (that’s this mouse’s name) began to climb down the lamp cord that ran along the side of Bree’s bookshelf. I had no idea mice could climb cords. Once Gollum was out of sight, I unplugged the cord and wrapped it around the lamp on top of the bookshelf. When I went back to sleep for the third time, however, the rustling came again, and a wave of horror washed over me: how did he get up there without a cord? Can mice fly?
I turned on the lamp in time to see Gollum lower himself from the protruding books, flopping down with a wet smack each time he let go of one book and landed on another. I tried not to get sick. Part of me was thinking, “Okay, God, I learned my lesson.” The other part was thinking “I don’t think Batman really meant to represent bats…I’m pretty sure he wanted to represent mice but thought that would be unmanly so he chose bats instead.” The final part was thinking “I guess I should probably move Bree’s food.”
I did move her food and Gollum left it alone for the rest of the night, though I still didn’t get that much sleep. This morning when I woke up, I went through my mental to-do list and almost cried over how much work had to be done, how many books needed to be read, how many papers needed to be written.
Maybe I should stay home from church today, so I can get all of my work done. There’s just no way I’m gonna have time to do all of it before tomorrow.
But as I sat there, the Holy Spirit whispered, “Hunter, God will give you the time if you put Him first.”
Oh yeah, I knew that.
So I got up and did my Bible Study, took a shower, got changed, and headed out to church. I felt refreshed and awake despite my sleep deprivation. I walked across campus, basking in the morning sunlight. I stood still for a moment before I was a quarter way across, because that’s when I noticed that there was no one else stirring; I was the only one outside. And at that moment, the campus looked beautiful. I continued to walk, smiling at how wonderful God had made the morning for me, how perfectly the light hit the trees and brought everything to life. I had no doubt God would provide time and energy for me to get everything done that needed doing. He always provides.
As I walked out of the subway station after my journey, I ran into Mina, one of the ladies at church, and her two kids. We walked and chatted. In order to get to the church, you have to cross the overhead pass above Ocean Parkway and Ft. Hamilton Parkway, and she and her children went along the bike lane while I stuck to the sidewalk. The sidewalk sloped down quickly while the bike lane kept going on a longer downward slope. As I went down, she said she’d see me at the end of the bike lane and we’d see who got there first.
Oh, I was going to get there first.
The moment she said that, I began sprinting, in high heels and a skirt mind you, fashioned with a pea coat and a hand bag and dragonfly earrings…not my normal jogging attire, but I didn’t have time for a wardrobe change. The moment the kids saw me running, they began running, and it became a race. I passed by a couple and their child, and I said a hurried good morning as they looked at me like I was nuts. I smiled and laughed and told Mina’s children that I was going to beat them, and they challenged me back. One man unloading a truck watched me as I ran. I noticed and yelled good morning to him and he laughed at me, saying good morning back and commenting on my inappropriate running clothes.
It was a tie. I am a failure.
But it was fun 🙂 the three of us high-fived and walked the rest of the way to church once Mina caught up. What a great way to start the morning.
Once I went to Sunday school I felt stupid for thinking staying home would be a good idea. That’s just what Satan wants, for me to be inconsistent and to not spend time with other believers, for me to think God can’t handle my workload.
The morning service was about fear of finances…hm, sound familiar?
Between services, Maria invited me to go have lunch and her and Sam’s house. She commented it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I didn’t mind, I was kind of excited actually 🙂 and I had no reason not to be excited, after all the three of us along with Maria’s two children had a great time 🙂 Sam tried to make French press but Maria and I sort of messed it up while he was out getting creamer…Hey, at least we know now.
After afternoon service, Sam and Maria drove me home, which was a huge blessing. Once I stepped inside my door, I threw my bag down and my coat off and thanked Jesus for getting me to church and getting me out of bed and doing my Bible study because it would’ve been so easy to not do any of it, so easy. Hm.
I skyped Mom then before digging into everything, which, of course I had plenty of time to do. I talked with her for a while and told her about the day, about what I was learning in Bible Study, how God is changing me…it was great. After our conversation was over I had a lot of things to think about, a lot of things to hope for.
I spent the rest of my time working on everything and I got everything except the short story finished, and I had plenty of energy and more than enough time to complete it all. God totally took care of me more than once today and every time He did it in a unique way, as if He was proving to me that it wasn’t coincidence, that it was just random. He did it to remind me He’s with me. And though I didn’t think I needed Him to do that, He did it anyway, and it was wonderful. It’s funny, I remember a few weeks back when I was really discouraged and I was like “God, please just remind me that You’re here with me.” But no ‘sign’ came, nothing. Yet now that I look back I realize it wasn’t the right time for Him to do that. Sometimes when things are hard and dark and you’re not sure what will make them go back to normal, you don’t necessarily need some random sign from God or an earthquake, but like Elijah, as God was trying to get his attention, sometimes all you need is a still, small voice. And that’s what God gave me, a still small voice reminding me that God has a plan, that there’s a reason for my being in The City, that He loves me and hasn’t sent me somewhere and then forgotten about me.
So then, in times when things aren’t so difficult and my vision is clear again, I can see these happenings for what they actually are: divine sticky notes from God, reminding me that He’s here with me 🙂
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —Isaiah 41:10