When I have had to visit the courthouse for paying taxes or filing some papers, I always check the sign outside the door to insure I am in the 'right place.' Sometimes, I am and sometimes I need direction to another office.
There have even been times while driving, (it pains me to admit this) when I was not in the right place. My granddaughter, Lynley, will never let me forget the trip we made to the Chicago area to visit my sister. I decided to take the scenic route instead of the direct route; you know, a little education thrown in for her and Kalisha. They got an education but not exactly what I had planned in my head. A wrong turn somewhere landed us smack dab in the middle of an industrial section of the city with somewhat questionable characters walking the streets. Lynley was only 8 years old and had a few questions: "Why do all the doors and windows have bars on them, Grandma?"
Her most frequently asked question was, "Are we lost?" I always answered, "No, Honey. I know exactly where we are, it's just not where I want to be."
Last week, Kalisha and I went shopping at Meijer's for a new pair of shorts for her to wear to work. As soon as I entered the store, my eyes caught the sign by the strawberries...5/$5. Such a deal; I couldn't resist. Of course, we picked up 1 or 2 more things, plus the shorts. Kalisha bagged while I checked out. We carried the few bags out, put them in the car and when we got home, I grabbed the bag of strawberries and put them in the garage refrigerator because I knew I was leaving town for a few days and wouldn't get to the jam-making until I returned. I was positive my strawberries were in the right place.
When Kalisha had to get ready for work, many days later, and finally had occasion to retrieve her new shorts from the bag, she came into my office carrying a box of strawberries (at least that's what I thought they used to be). "I'm so sorry, Mom. These were inside the bag with my shorts. I didn't know they were there."
Result: moldy compacted strawberries. Obviously, they are picked quite green because they did not smell (just a bit musty) there wasn't juice running out of the plastic container and they hadn't decomposed to a pile of mush. Those are all positives in this situation.
I was still thinking about the strawberries when I began thinking about us and how often we aren't in the right place in our lives. Not a physical place, but perhaps an emotional or spiritual place; or even an occupational place. If Kalisha had checked her 'shorts' bag, she would have discovered the berries. If I had checked the plastic bag I put in the refrigerator, I would have realized I was missing one container. When was the last time you really checked your 'place' in life? Are you where you should or need to be, spiritually? We don't know the answer to that until we check and sometimes our emotional or spiritual life has turned a bit moldy.
Fortunately, in God's world, we are salvageable; unlike the berries.
One more thing: I know God wanted me to write about this because I was wishing I had taken a picture of the moldy mess before the garbage was picked up. I thought perhaps there was still a chance.
"Kalisha, did you put the bag of berries in the trash can before or after it was picked up?"
"Trash? I didn't put them in the outside trash can."
"Really?" I asked hesitantly. "Where, exactly did you put them?"
"You just said to throw them away, so I put them in the bathroom wastebasket."
I was thrilled because now I could take a picture of them. (In my defense, our bathroom wastebasket has a flip-flop lid on it, so I didn't see them.)
Check your life. Are you where you want to be? Are you in the right place? Are you where God plans for you to be? Or are you getting a bit moldy?