"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Red, Rollin’ and Right on Time!


By Micky Wolf

 
Hopes and desires do come true—that is if our eyes and hearts are open to all the ways in which God desires to bless and encourage us. Too often it seems, we fall into a mind-set of believing we will not live to see them come to fruition. In some cases, we simply allow them to go quietly into the night, believing them to be outside or beyond the Divine Will. Thankfully, God not only sees things differently, He delights in surprising us beyond anything we could ever imagine. Whether small, medium, or large, He knows perfectly how to Spirit-size His gifts for us.

Hopes and desires can be expressed in a variety of ways. Sometimes they take form while we sleep or as we ‘imagine’, fully awake, in a daydream. Occasionally, they manifest as a petition or pleading with God. Our desires and hopes may include envisioning healing and conversion for others or self, accomplishing certain goals, being granted a wish. However we would describe them, we can take comfort in knowing God is fully aware of all that encompasses our thoughts and feelings and will respond in the way He knows best. 

And so it was with the red bicycle.

One recent day when my husband was on vacation, we decided to take our time to do some shopping. Enjoying being together with only a very general idea of what we were looking for, we found ourselves wandering up and down the wide aisles of one home supply store, and then another. By the end of the afternoon we realized we were getting tired and hungry, more than ready to get off our feet and head home for a bite to eat.

And then we saw it—a sparkling red and white, retro-style women’s Schwinn Hybrid® bicycle. To anyone else this shiny two-wheeler may have been a cool ride. For me—it was the evidence of God’s whisper—here, just for you now, at this moment in time. And on sale, no less! A short while later, handlebars snug in slightly trembling hands, I carefully steered my new bike to our car. 

“Happy birthday dear”, my husband said, grinning ear to ear.

From a tiny seed…

At some point early in life we begin to give voice, often only to ourselves, of our hopes and desires. There were times when I dreamed of lasting peace in our family, for my Father to be free from his addiction to alcohol. Some days I hoped we could go to the local swimming hole to quench the heat of a sultry August evening. And then there were the regular visits to the dentist when I desperately desired to hear the words, “not a single cavity today”. 

The hope of a red bicycle began with a wonderful children’s story. As best as I recall, [title long forgotten] it was held between the pages of a Little Golden Book®. About seven or eight at the time, the pictures and words held my rapt attention as I read and reread the remarkable story: Dad brings home two very large boxes—one for his son, the other for his daughter. With immense delight, they open them on Christmas morning to discover a blue two-wheeler for the boy—and a red one for the girl. I so hoped for one just like she had been given, but knew for various reasons even at that age, the likelihood of such a gift was clearly out of the question. Nevertheless, I filed away the desire, mostly forgetting about it—until a few weeks ago.

Keeping hope alive…

It is not easy to keep a hope alive, especially if we are not quite sure whether or not it is something God would choose to give us. Various issues can surface in the process of putting our desires before Him—am I worthy? Is it being selfish to ask for this? What if it never happens? How long is too long to hope?

As a child wishing for a shiny new two-wheeler, I eventually accepted the reality it was just not the time or place. Finances were tight and even if Mom and Dad had had the resources, they made it clear riding a bicycle on rough country roads was not their idea of a safe pastime. Besides, there were always chores to be done. On the other hand, weekly visits to the library for piles of books was definitely encouraged—something for which I will forever be grateful. And so, again and again, I would carefully turn each page of the bicycle story book even as the hope grew dim and faded away—until a few weeks ago.

Now or later…

We can try and convince God we know the best way, the right time and place, for Him to graciously and generously give us the hopes and desires of our heart. Or, we can choose to believe that He really does know best, in which case we will need to place our trust in His will and plan for our lives. Admittedly, it can be a challenge for a child to take such a big step in faith, yet in many ways; it is so much harder for us as adults to do the same. We tend to reason, rationalize and justify the ‘who, what, where, when and how’ of our hopes, all of which can produce huge roadblocks to opening ourselves to all the blessings God desires to send our way.

One of things we struggle with is keeping alive the hopes and desires nestled in the corners of our soul. I have learned over time the key is “holding with an open hand” rather than a clenched grip. Having this kind of an attitude gives God the freedom, in His wonderful beneficence, to give from His all-knowing heart of great love and compassion. His timing is simply and always—perfect.

I will never know what kind of experiences might have unfolded had I been gifted with the bicycle of my dreams as a child. To think on such things is folly. What I do know is discovering the reality of that hope, years and years later and with my husband, took us both by surprise, flooding our hearts and spirits with great excitement and joy. Wow!

Do you carry a ‘red bicycle hope’ within your heart?

Have you let go of a hope or desire you once believed for? Why?

Do you analyze your desires rather than allow them to simply be? Why?   


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