Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Every Good Thing

This morning, I asked Jeff to toss me the remote. He waited for me to extend my hand palm up, and then he tossed.

I caught the remote.

And felt very, very proud of myself.

Because I can't catch.

When I was a kid, I thought it was because I don't have depth perception. But depth-perceptionless folk around me had way less trouble catching than I did, so eventually, I had to chalk it up to poor coordination, like the rest of the common non-catching horde.

When I grew up and got married, my catching ability seemed to improve. Especially when it was Jeff who tossed something to me.

But it occurred to me today that it's not that I'm getting better at catching, it's just that Jeff is great at throwing. I said to him, "See? This is what I'm talking about. My perspective on everything is skewed. I thought I caught that remote, but really, you aimed for my outstretched hand."

Jeff corrected, "I didn't just aim for your outstretched hand. I tossed in such a way that the remote would land in your hand. If I just aimed for your hand, the remote would bounce off. I have to get it to land there."

So much for being better at catching.

It does take team effort, though. I have to extend my hand, palm up. That's my part. The rest is up to Jeff. He gets the remote into my hand. If I move my hand, all bets are off. If I try to participate in catching, I send the remote sailing sideways across the room.

It works best if I just hold still, palm out. I can do that with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back. Oh, wait. There I go thinking it's about me again.

Today I read about King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26. Verse 5 says, "As long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper."

As soon as Uzziah became powerful and thought he was doing everything himself, it all went sideways. Verse 16 says, "But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction."

As soon as I think I've learned to catch and I try to participate in the process, everything thrown to me experiences a sudden, violent change in trajectory. There will never be a time when my job is more complex than extending my hand, palm up, and waiting to receive what is tossed to me. It is Jeff's aim that is faithful and true.

And there will never be a time when my job is more complex than turning my face to God, emptying my hands of the things I cling to apart from Him, and holding them out, palms up, ready to receive.

It is God who is faithful and true.

"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."
~James 1:17