Celebrate God’s Sense of Humor

St. Teresa Avila once told God, “Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few!” A scent of that sentiment entered my mind when we returned from our family vacation.

I don’t like chaos. Planning and packing for a family getaway is always a nightmare. This year several days before we left we learned that we had to remove all of the large items from our two backyard sheds, as our neighbor was putting up a fence and our sheds were slightly over the property line. I could roll with that. It helped me get rid of things and re-organizing what was left in the sheds had been on my goal list.

So I turned a blind eye to the towering mounds of stuff on our back porch and in our garage relocated from the sheds. I was even able to ignore the 5ft.-high pile of trash bags and boxes that our neighborhood helper forgot to set out on the curb for the trash collector while we were gone.

As I do much of my business and personal work on the Internet, I was able to let go of the fact that our home Internet was not working as we returned at a time when I was deluged by emails from work and had a flurry of service activity and correspondence that needed my attention. Automatically waking up at a wee hour (probably due to nagging stress of how I was going to pull things off with my on-line arm tied behind my back), I was able to sneak to the office before everyone woke up to send and respond to a few essential emails.

Then two days before school, my 6th grader announces his cochlear implant batteries are not working properly and he can’t hear. It was a Helen Keller moment as we still hadn’t devoted the time needed to find his glasses since they went into hibernation in May.

It didn’t help that my service responsibilities were at their peak as we returned into town. Admittedly, it was my choice. But less than an hour after I stepped into Wichita I was off to church for a meeting, the next day an in-service for the teachers on our apostolate, then putting up a bulletin board, and another commitment at the school open house. Two days back home, I still had not unpacked and things were not in their proper place.

Okay, God…are you trying to tell me something here?

And he was.

I was quite amazed by my uncharacteristically cheerful attitude that I experienced under the stress and chaos. I could even laugh at each challenge after another, bantering with God playfully. I was not in my typical stress mode of operating in an impersonal, humorless, critical and demanding manner.

Then God’s gentle two by four hit me: the reason I was able to flow with what life delivered was because I was well rested. Consistently getting enough sleep is one of my top priorities, but at times can be elusive for me with my unconventional schedule. God gave me a taste of the kind of person I can be—patient, playful, flexible—if I will just follow the manufacturer’s instructions and get enough sleep.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: What message might God be sending you that will help you be the kind of person you and God want you to be?