Have any of you seen Despicable Me? If not, go rent it. HILARIOUS movie. It’s even funnier when you watch it with young children. Whoever thought up the little yellow “minions” definitely had toddlers in their life. We’ve all started to quote the movie quite regularly around here. One of our favorite lines is right after Gru blows up the rip-you-off carnival game and he says, “Knocked over!!” I had my own “knocked over” moment New Years Day. No one blew anything up. I did this all to myself.
We have a handy little storage area in our basement underneath the stairs that is perfect for storing things you don’t need very often – like Christmas decorations. There is a very sturdy beam right about shoulder height that you have to duck under to get into the spot. Like I said – it’s perfect for things you don’t need very often. I had been in and out of the area a dozen times, being very careful to duck each time I went in. On my last trip into the storage area, I was zipping along, bent over, when next thing I knew, I was “knocked over” on my rear and seeing stars. Oh, I had ducked, just not far enough.
There I was, home alone, on the cold basement floor, not sure whether to laugh or cry. I was grabbing my forehead and rocking back and forth muttering, “Ow, ow, ow, I can’t believe I did that!! Ow, ow ow!! I can’t believe I did that!”
I dragged myself upstairs and grabbed an ice pack out of the freezer. I laid down on the couch to nurse my pride, still not sure whether to laugh or cry. After the throbbing stopped, I picked up some knitting while I let the ice do its work in an effort to avoid a massive headache and an ugly goose egg right in the middle of my forehead. (As I write this, three days later, my forehead is still sensitive to the touch!)
I lay there thinking that running into a 4 foot beam is a good way to get someone’s attention and make them slow down. Then I realized this wasn’t the first time I’d been “knocked over.” It’s all too easy to convince ourselves that God is “in” anything we want Him to be in, or that He’s not “in” something we don’t want Him to be in. We’ll construe Bible verses, other’s opinions and circumstances to make them mean what we want them to mean. We can cruise through life and avoid all the warning signs that there’s a large beam blocking the path ahead. Then when we run into the immovable obstacle, we nurse our wounds and curse the builder who put the beam there. Who cares that the beam is a necessary support for the structure at hand, it was in MY way from doing the job I wanted to do. There have been times I’ve been knocked over and while nursing my wounds and my pride I realized how many warning signs I had ignored along the way. Whether it was a deteriorating relationship, a work I wasn’t supposed to be involved with, or a job I had avoided, I can be good at seeing only what I want to see, and terrible at listening to God’s voice of direction and warning.
So this year, I’ve made a resolution to learn to listen. To slow down. To heed warning signs. And to learn to hear the subtle prodding of God’s Spirit. I’ve had enough goose eggs for awhile.