This last weekend, my wife, Marti, attended the baby shower for our daughter-in-law, Elizabeth; we are about to become grandparents for the first time. For one of her gifts, Marti wrote a fairy tale, The Pigeon with the Ruby Collar, in honor of the baby to be born, Jocelyn Anne. When talking about what I might use for the Catch this weekend, we thought of sharing the story with you. So the daily Catches this week will be related to the story, but will not require you to know the story to understand them. However, we will make the story available to you starting tomorrow.
In the beginning of The Pigeon with the Ruby Collar, Princess Jocelyn Anne is wanting to be told a story, as long as it is a story about a slain dragon, one princess rescued from the tower by a handsome prince, and a grand wedding at the end. When she is told by the storyteller that hers is not that kind of story, she replies petulantly, “Well, just make it that kind of story then!”
Don’t we wish? Don’t we wish we could make our stories go the way we want them to go? To be sure, in the very end, our stories will turn out better than we could ever imagine, but it’s the details of the story along the way that sometimes challenge us and make us struggle with God’s telling of our story.
I was not supposed to open my Sports section this morning and see a picture of Hanser Alberto of the Texas Rangers dousing himself with water over a season-ending win over my Los Angeles Angels in Arlington, Texas. That wasn’t supposed to be in my story. But there it is in living color, and there is nothing I can do about it. Every time I look over at that paper, the picture is still there, staring back at me, and I can’t change it.
It is important to understand, however, that God is the ultimate storyteller and He is intimately involved with each of our stories. In fact, our stories have a reason and a purpose we may never fully grasp in this life. We may never discover how that loss played into someone else’s gain, or how God plans to use it in our life to grow and mature us.
If you would have told us, even six months ago, that Chandler would be in an out-of-state residential treatment center by now, we would have laughed at you, or told you, “No way would we let that happen.” But we aren’t writing this story; we are living it, and in the living of it, we have choices to make relative to our story, but those choices are limited to what we control. There is much that we do not have control over. That’s where faith comes in.
We need to have a strong conviction over what we can control, and a loose hold on what we can’t. We need to live deliberately, but with a flexibility in our make-up so as to write our story, but go with God’s version as it unfolds.
“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:34)
The challenge is making our way; the adventure is following His.