The Never Ending Chronicles of The Ring, Lesson 2: GRACEful new beginnings
“Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?”
Scanning the ground back to my soccer-mom van I was imagining my husband Farhad holding the ring in a case as he asked me to marry him 14 years prior. 14 years to the month! Just the right diamond on a one-of-a-kind handmade ring. Yikes! The ring, diamond and all, also represented the vows of a sacred bond that were made on our wedding day. Double Yikes! Purchasing a new diamond would cost a pretty penny. Yikes Yikes Yikes! And it was gone!
“Come on, where is it?” Retracing my steps from the class to the van I must have looked like a mad lady. The ring was so sparkly the first time I laid eyes on it. A battery operated light in the case made the ring glimmer in the moonlight night. What could be more beautiful and more perfect? As he slid it onto my finger I knew I would clean it often, never would this diamond be dull. Throughout the years it had twinkled on my finger, the glimmer had to be replenished now and then with a good cleaning. Come to think of it, it had not been cleaned in a while and I wondered if that would make it harder to find. A dull diamond might just blend into its surroundings! No one would notice the treasure it was and even I could easily overlook it!
A feeling of hopelessness swept over my body in an instant. If only I had cleaned it as often as I did when I first received it. If only, if only, if only! How did I get so lazy with something of so much value?
After sweeping the ground again and again with my eyes, I reluctantly got into the car. I needed to search the car and my house and so many other places. Looking down at the ring it just looked wrong. A jewel, gone. A priceless treasure, vanished.
It is so easy to stop taking care of what is most important to us. The disappearing diamonds seemed like a warning. What other treasures in my life are dull and in danger or falling by the wayside? In life all sorts of challenges and struggles come our way. It is inevitable. In the midst, am I remembering to tend to the treasure God has given me in my family? Am I cleaning it regularly? Does my family know what a jewel they are to me? Am I being a jewel to them? Something of so much value should not be left to dull out. When the night comes, the diamond is that much harder to find if it can’t reflect light.
“I need to clean this diamond... I’ll do it later.” How many times did I say that? And the moments just slipped away. It’s in the moment, isn’t it?
“Mom, will you play cars with me?” A common question from my son. How long does it really take to sit down and play cars? 5 minutes goes a long ways. Why does 20 minutes answering emails can feel like a blink. Where is my treasure? It’s in the moment.
“Mom, can I help with dinner?” Being a chef is on my daughter’s top-10 list of occupations. It takes longer when she helps. It’s my choice: Do it myself because every minute counts... or invest an additional 5 extra minutes for my treasure? It’s in the moment.
“I have a deadline, could you pick up my clothes at the dry cleaners before they close?” A simple request from my husband that I can certainly do and a 5 minute drive to avoid putting a wedge between glimmering treasure and dullness. Be his helpmate (“Sure can”) or his heartache (“It’s out of my way but if you really can’t get here... how late are you planning on staying there anyways?”). It’s in the moment.
Should it surprise me when teens say they have nothing in common with their parents and couples say they have grown apart after years of lost moments? Lost time may never be found. But thank goodness we are not out of time today! It’s never too late to be a vessel of change in my home! Today is a new day with plenty of time for a new life attitude. Philippians 2:14-16 tells me how to respond to my family:
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
The treasure of strong family connections can be found and cleaned up to shine in the sunlight and glimmer in the moonlight. It’s in the moment.
So what about this ring! I failed on my part and felt quite hopeless to find the jewel that should sit on top of my ring. Whatever I think is lost and gone can be restored? True, oh so true for my family. It can be found. But my disappearing diamond? It just served as a good warning. And yet, God is a God of restoration and healing... should he stop short? I was put to the test one Sunday morning.
“Honey, could you make some breakfast for the kids?” My husband usually makes breakfast on the weekends. But this Sunday morning he asked me to. Don’t grumble! Remember the lesson your working on ever since your diamond suddenly disappeared. I sure felt like grumbling. Helpmate or heartache? I walked to the kitchen telling myself to choose a good attitude. I can handle cereal and microwaved eggs. It’s in the moment.
“Mom, can you please make the eggs the way I like?” She was asking me not to microwave them for 40 seconds but to use a frying pan. Ugh! Oops, was that a silent grumble I heard? Take the extra 5 minutes to fry up eggs Michelle! I went to get an egg-making frying pan. It’s in the moment.
And yet my attitude still struggled with a grumble or two....
“The frying pan is on the bottom shelf, I have to get down on my knees to get it and I have a bad back.” I thought. “Geez, I really need to clean down here, what is that there? Dirt? If only we had better cupboards it wouldn’t take me 5 minutes to clean them out.”
Pausing for a second, “Wait a minute. I’m grumbling. It’s a lost moment if I keep this up! I’m making breakfast for my treasure of a family for goodness sakes! I’m sorry Lord, change me from the inside out.”
That’s when my perspective made a shift. Literally. I looked closer at the “dirty” cupboard. That dull piece of dirt is shaped sort of like... a prong holding a dull diamond! What?!?!?!?! I found the diamond when I was not even looking for it! He is a God of restoration and healing! A God that helps us see things in a new way. And finding this diamond was... in the moment! The moment of a shift from feeding a grumble to feeding a treasure. When what is lost becomes found, I will rejoice! It needed a good cleaning and a good fixing but I knew it for the treasure it was.
Just the right diamond-of-a-family in a one-of-a-kind God-made home. Each moment choosing to reflect the light of sacred bonds. A priceless jewel found, cleaned and restored!
“And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin. In the same way… there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.””
Luke 15:9 & 10