Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Confession, or "I'm a Big Fat Fallen Hypocrite"

I've been reading this young man's blog for a couple of months now, since right after his wife received a double lung transplant in April. He's the fellow in the video giving the summary of their whole story up to the transplant. The very, very short version: his wife, Tricia, was born with cystic fibrosis. About a year ago, she was placed on the transplant list, which was when they unexpectedly found out she was pregnant. Given less than a 50% chance for either of their survival, Tricia carried the baby as long as she could before an emergency c-section (about 4or 5 months ago).

Last week, both mother and baby were discharged.

Now, what does all this have to do with me being a hypocrite?

I've mentioned that I was accepted to a graduate school program at Notre Dame. During the application process, I kept saying "I'm okay with it either way, I just wanna know!" Very at peace with the whole thing. Sure, I was anxious to know what was going to be next on my winding road, but I was leaving the direction of that path in God's hands. I was quite impressed with myself and my trust in God's plan.

Well, big fat fibber I was.

What I haven't mentioned is that I was on the waiting list for about two days. I opened my e-mail, saw "Status of ACE Application", and immediately frowned. If I was in, it would have just said "Welp, You Don't Smell Too Bad. You're In!", or something. The e-mail was very positively worded and encouraging, but it wasn't an acceptance.

After all my prattling on about accepting God's providence, my response to this was consuming adolescent annoyance. I was mad, not at any particular entity, but just because not only had I not gotten what I wanted, I didn't even know what I'd gotten. In essence, I spent two days pouting.

Compare this with Nathan's prayer as he faced down the very real possibility of loosing both his wife and daughter, and I'm a big ol' weenie.

My reaction to being wait-listed surprised me. Truly, I would have been fine with not being accepted. Evidently, I would not have been entirely okay with it, at least not to start. Is that normal? Of course, but as I sulked in the chapel the morning of the second wait-list day, I swear I could almost hear God laughing at me.

Alright, God, point taken. You're right and I'm a weenie. As usual.

In the cosmic scheme of things, neither being wait-listed nor my reaction really matter. Perhaps I needed to be reminded that I'm flawed and fallen. Many have observed how easy it is to rely on God when the going gets tough, if only because we feel we have no other option, but in every day life we want to think we're in charge. While I don't believe in a control-freak God who controls our every motion, I do think He's in every moment, and every moment works towards His big plan. I believe that, but will be the first to admit that in practice, that doesn't always show.

And so, class, what do we take away from this lesson? Well, you take whatever you want, Dear Reader. A chuckle at my weenieness, or a pensive "Hmm..", or a deep thought, it's fine with me. I would request, though, that the next time you see me pouting you feel free take the liberty of smacking me up-side the head.

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