Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Percentage Chance

My dad is a visionary. He likes to dream big and his favorite conversations are about what could be. Growing up it was sometimes hard to gauge if the things we discussed around the dinner table were probable, likely, or just fun to dream about.
I discovered a way to determine what type of intentions were behind our dreaming by asking, "What's the percentage chance, Dad?"
He would laugh and then throw out a percentage that would give me a slight indication. When I asked the percentage chance we'd move into the house that looked like a castle in Redding, CA and he said, "25%" I knew I should get comfortable where I was. When we first toured Lynden, WA in 1997 I asked, "What's the percentage chance we'll move there?" he replied, "87%". I knew it was safe to start imagining. Then in following weeks when it changed to "93%" I knew it was time to break out the moving boxes.

My need to know the percentage chance has become a family joke. My dad thinks he's quite clever to turn the tables...when I was choosing colleges, when we were debating about moving to Mount Vernon, whenever a big decision is on the horizon he gets a gleam in his eye and has to ask.

Last month when we were praying for Little Girly, working on some potential projects for BIG OAK, weighing options for our house...I got antsy. S. was cleaning breakfast dishes and I was hovering- asking every question as though he held the answers.

"What do you think about how this is playing out with Little Girly? Do you have a feeling either way about it? Do you think it's going to happen? I mean...when you pray...do you feel like you know anything?" On and on I processed.

Teasingly, S. said, "Are you looking for a percentage chance here?"
"I guess. Yes! A percentage chance of SOMETHING!"

Then quite seriously he said, "Every time I pray about any of our current circumstances I feel like the Lord points me to Moses wandering the desert with the Israelites. He's shown me that in that season, all they were required to do was to be obedient daily." It wasn't for them to set goals as to when they would enter the Promised Land. It wasn't for them to store up manna or anything else that the Lord provided. Each day with the dawn came provision, a call to obedience, and God building a relationship with His people. S. pointed out to me that "every time the Israelites got caught up in their percentage chances, or lost the focus of being obedient and present in that day alone- they were swept up into idolatry, immorality, and self indulgence."

I frowned and cringed. It didn't solve that antsy feeling but I knew by the level at which his words resonated that it is true. I would love to store up manna, would love to set goals and move in a direction that I confidently feel God's blessing over. Ah, but it doesn't seem to be an option for us right now.

Perhaps a day will come where foresight is more than by the hour, but what a reminder right now is to the way the Lord calls me to live. Perhaps not as contentedly as my husband, but I am fully present in what today is.
I don't know if Little Girly will be ours forever. I don't know how many days I have with any of my kids, for that matter. Two of my dear friends lost babies this week- one in the first trimester and one at 23 weeks. I was reminded that no matter what we think we know, what we try to control, these things are not really in our hands even to begin with.

We are moving forward with selling our house...percentage chance that it will sell before foreclosure? Percentage chance that our income will meet our monthly "goals" for ourselves on a regular basis? Percentage that Little Girly will become a Taylor?

No idea.

Percentage chance I will rest in the Lord tonight? Getting close to 100%.
Percentage chance that all four children will be tucked in and quiet by 9pm tonight? Significantly less than 100%.

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