It’s not what you want to see as you are peacefully situated on your airplane seat headed out for a vacation. A mother walking down the aisle holding a vomit bag to the mouth of her 6-year-old child. As if you weren’t worried enough about those nasty airplane germs! Why would this mother even bring her kid on a plane when he was that sick? I’ll tell you why…because we were going on this trip that had been planned for months if it killed us! Yes, I was that mother.
The night before our trip to Disney World my son Jack started to look pale. Maybe it was just the Irish side of him coming out through all of the excitement of this highly anticipated trip to “the happiest place on earth”. His older brother and sister had built this trip up so much in his mind that they probably just overwhelmed him. He’ll be alright.
Around midnight ‘it’ began and continued throughout the night. At 6:30 am we rationalized he had gotten this all out of his system and he would “heal” on the plane. I look up at God, “Really?” whileJack demonstrated a renewed batch of “sickness” while our family sheepishly lurked down the airplane aisle. I really wasn’t sure who I felt sorrier for…my poor sick child or the rest of the passengers. For sure an officer of social services would emerge and put me in handcuffs. Would someone please just put a bag over my head?!
When we arrived poor Jack was weak and feverish but we had our tickets to Sea World in hand. Upon arrival at the entrance gates, I finally realized this was so stupid! “I’m going to take him to the infirmary while you all go have fun. You’ll know where to find us.” Then it happened…we saw the wheelchairs. A lightbulb went off. Why don’t we rent one of these and he can at least see everything and I’ll keep him hydrated with snow-cones? We had a winning game plan. Or did we?
As we entered our first show we were personally escorted by an usher to the “special” seats in the front row where you could sit with your wheelchaired family member. At first, we thought, “Oh nice!” Then the next show, the same thing and so on. We began to notice that people were giving us looks of pity and thought our Jack was somehow gravely ill. I started noticing all the truly needy kids and adults bound to wheelchairs. Bless their hearts! It must be so hard on them and their families on a day to day basis. We were taking advantage of the system. (But maybe no one would notice.)
Getting through day one, we patted ourselves on the backs. The kids had fun and Jack was recovering but still very weak. We arrive at the Animal Kingdom the second day where Jack informed us that he needed the wheelchair again. Fearing we would end up having to carry him around, we caved. So there we were, in the front row of “The World’s Funniest Animals” show. (Truth be told, enjoying our VIP treatment. Shameful, I know.) After a few wild and crazy animal acts the extroverted MC asks for a volunteer from the audience. Jack bounds out of the confines of his wheelchair seat, flailing arms, and a very visible renewed sense of energy… “Oh, pick me!” We were busted. Both internally and externally in the very center for all to see. Ok social services, get the cuffs!
While this story is a rather humorous illustration of bending the truth, it shows us that if we are not being authentic and truthful we will be exposed at some point. Our relationship with the truth we know from God can be a daily struggle for most of us. Why? Because we are sinners. The good news? Forgiveness!
This week, let’s look closely at the cross. Through heartfelt prayer, ask God in his infinite mercy to show us where we fall short and ask for his forgiveness and guidance. Whether you find yourself in “the happiest place on earth”, in a board meeting, or making major life decisions, make sure that you ask the question. “Is this right in the eyes of eternity?”
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
“Being an authentic Christian means that God and his Word define what is “real”. For Christians, our true self is found in Christ and we are on a pilgrimage to become more like him. As 1 John 3:2 says, ‘We are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet appeared. A greater reality awaits.’” Megan Hill ~ Author of blog: Sunday Women
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17