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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

But I Can't Find My Shoes!
Date Posted: March 3, 2007

"Mo-om!" begins the litany. When a plea at high volume begins with "Mom" and is uttered in my house I know whatever follows will not make me smile.

Often these utterances occur while we are attempting to rush out the door. Here's one I'll bet you're familiar with: "I can't find my ________" (You fill in the blank with whatever item that someone can't live without has been misplaced in your house today.) Shoes (or sometimes just shoe), book bag, coat, ball glove, action figures, lunch, money, lunch money, study sheet, hat, sleeping bag, Gameboy, and sunglasses are all items I can recall fitting the description of missing in action.

Sometimes I manage to identify the item and disclose its location before the sentence has completely escaped my child's lips. This produces a, "Hey how did you know . . .?" to which I reply, "Let's go!"

When that happens I feel like an accomplished parent. But when I'm on the other end doing the whining, I wonder why God puts up with me.

There are times when I have felt the Lord nudging me toward something as I make excuses like, "But I haven't studied that lesson, I can't fill in as a teacher." Then there's "but I don't know how to mentor anyone" or "I'm not as well-liked as so-and-so, can't you ask her?" All the while God is holding the door and expressing a sense of urgency that it's time to get going.

"But, Lord, I can't find a way to get anyone involved in that program!" Arms are gesturing for me to move forward and step up. "But what if someone doesn't like what I say?" The Spirit is prompting me to state the truth without regard for how it is received. "But, Lord . . ."

"Let's go!" is commanded, in a much gentler voice than I use with my own children. Yet the urgency and the promise behind those words lead me to venture into the unknown, even if I can't find the right shoes or haven't packed my bag. "I will provide," are the words on the breeze.

In the words of Paul from 1 Corinthians 9:16-18, "Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it."

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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