Torn Britches

6 Jul

Torn Britches was originally written last summer  ~  July 2009.

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show
that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 

 

After working several hours cleaning the Ferguson Dining Hall on Friday, I gathered our paychecks, some outgoing mail, and my purse and headed for the car.  As I sat down, it felt like I sat on something lying in the seat … I raised my rear up and brushed my hand across the car seat  ~  didn’t find anything, so I settled back down, put the car in gear, and made my way into town.  I made a deposit at the drive-up window at the bank and then dropped a card in the mailbox at the post office.  My next stop was to return an item at Cato’s.  I walked up to the counter where I stood for several minutes as the clerk processed my refund.  I never have understood why those who design check-out counters do not think of us who are petite in stature.  I’m almost standing on tip toes, with my arms raised nearly to my shoulders so I can see to write my name on the little machine, claiming that I am who I am.  Stuffing the receipts into my purse, clearance signs attract my attention, so I browse several racks of clothing  ~  envisioning myself in various tops, capris and dresses … but nothing really spoke to me, so I walked past the two floor clerks and left.  I got in my car and drove over to K-Mart, where I also stopped at the customer service counter to make another return.  I had two items to return on two separate receipts, so this took a little longer than anticipated, but I tried to have patience.  After I once again stuffed receipts into my purse, I meandered to their clearance racks, hoping to find something of interest to buy for my upcoming vacation.  Moments later, Tim called and was full of stories about his afternoon.  My concentration of shopping was broken as I listened, so I slowly made my way back out to my car.  As we continued to talk, I drove over to Bigg’s where I had yet one more return to make.  As I was getting out of the car, I felt that funny feeling again … the one where I thought I was sitting on something.  I already had one leg out of the car and onto the parking lot, so I went ahead and stood up so I could check the seat.  Much to my surprise, there was nothing there.  Making sure whatever it was wasn’t sticking to my backside, my right hand brushed against something odd and airy … and then my fingers got caught in some sort of thread  ~  OH MY GOODNESS!!!  I had a ginormous hole in my pants!!  I quickly slid back into my car and headed home, all the while my brain was back tracking over the past hour and these visions of horror filled my racing mind!  How far HAD I stretched my arms up to reach the counter at Cato’s  ~  hiking my t-shirt tail way up to expose even more of my embarrassing situation??  How long WAS I standing there at K-Mart as the return took longer than it should have.  One normally doesn’t notice someone’s butt when you’re out shopping, but I WAS just standing there with my back side facing the door … at just enough distance away that my rear end was more noticeable than had I been closer to the door.  Sigh …  As I pulled into the driveway, my neighbor Arno was just walking out.  I waited until he got into his car and drove away before I made a dash into the house and ran to the bathroom mirror to see what I could see.  OH MY GOODNESS!!!!   I had a wedgy and half of my butt cheek was showing through this humongous opening!  I yanked my bright colored undies from their hiding place and straightened everything out so it would look presentable … yeah right!  I pulled my t-shirt down as far as it would go to see if there was any possible way that it had conveniently covered the humiliating scene, but there was no way.  I once again remembered the counter at Cato’s … and my arms stretching, which I’m sure pulled the shirt clear up to my waist.  Sigh …

"OH MY GOODNESS!!"

Yes, I took pictures.  You know me  ~  I take pictures of everything!  You have my permission to laugh.  I did.  There was no use doing anything else but that.  With the stress and strain of life, it feels really good to laugh sometimes.  Laughing distracts from the cares of the moment and brings a cheer to any situation … even if for a brief time.  Hehehe!!  Did I just say brief? 

The stress and strain in your life might not be a pair of torn jeans … or it may be the equivalent of that in the world in which you live.  A heart bumped around by a relationship, emotions kept in a constant spiral of confusion and dread, joy seemingly squelched by outside circumstances…

Have you ever ridden one of those barrel spinners at the amusement parks  ~  the one with the big wheel in the middle and the seats are all around?  The one that whips the cars in and around each other, spinning, bobbing, twirling?  The colors blur, the music blares, your hair blows wildly, and the squeals …    

I hate that ride.  So why do I find myself hopping back onto it so often?  Not at the theme park ~ no … never again there…but in the non-fantasyland of real life?  And how do I make it stop?

 
Overwhelmed.  That’s the word we all hear  ~  whether we are saying it or we hear others say it.  “I’m just overwhelmed.”  “This is so overwhelming.”  I don’t know about the “whelming” part, but I’m all for the being “over” part, aren’t you?  It really is crazy what we do to ourselves.  Although life could probably be a lot more ordered and structured than some of us allow it to be, and although certain unavoidable situations arise that knock even our best laid plans off balance, we could and should be experiencing God the best during our seasons of “overwhelming.”

Most days our mundane lives communicate very little to others about the difference Christ makes to us.  But set us to spinning with seemingly impossible problems, irritating and frustrating people and situations, and a to-do list with no end, others will suddenly start seeing the contents inside these jars of clay.  What will they see?  Will they see a glint of treasure … a depth of purity and power than can come only from God and not from us?  Or will they see a slopped mess of alarm, discouragement, bitterness and resentment … not to mention a lack of trust in God. 

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 
persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Matthew 12:34
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him,
and the evil man brings evil things
out of the evil stored up in him.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up
according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were
sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

2 Corinthians 12:10
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,
in persecutions,
in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
 

Philippians 4:13
 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

 

Physically we may be operating on perpetual exhaustion.  Emotionally we may be a frayed knot of nerves and numbness.  But spiritually we should be drinking from a well deeper than many of us have ever known ~ the depths of God’s higher purposes and the assurance that He knows what He’s doing.  He may be strengthening the muscles we’ll need for perhaps even more difficult days ahead, and I’m confident that He’s infusing us with firsthand experiences that will give our advice, our support, and our prayers an authentic ring to people caught in similar situations. 

I challenge us all to take comfort during times like these to know that God is longing to do something extraordinary in us.  I know that I have prayed all my life for others to see Jesus in me.  The time is now, in the midst of the spinning and the twirling, that I long to be “overwhelmed” by HIS sustaining, securing, and victorious power.  Care to join me?

Until next time,
Debbie

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3 Responses to “Torn Britches”

  1. Viola July 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    Thanks Debbie. The first part was hilarious – and I loved that.
    The message in the second half was just what I needed today.
    Love you.

  2. Pami July 13, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    I laughed the first time you posted this. Today I was brought to tears. At times in your life when your heart has been broken and bitterness and rage has taken residence in your soul it is difficult to feel joy and peace but you reminded me today that it is still available and where to find it. You are truly a vessel being used by God and I thank you my very dear and special friend.

  3. son July 24, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Oh mother 😉

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