I don’t like surprises. I don’t like not knowing what’s coming. I like predictability (well, in life I like predictability, not in books, movies, or TV shows—that drives me nuts.), because I have trust issues…
This is why I don’t use travel mugs. They aren’t trustworthy. They dribble and leak without warning all the while promising to keep their contents contained and yourself tidy. Too many times I’ve been burned (literally) by their unreliability. I drink straight from an open mug—even when I’m driving. That’s right. I live on the edge. But, at least I know what to expect. If I make a mess of myself it’s my own fault; but at least I saw it coming.
While I know this all seems perfectly reasonable (it does, right?), living without trust means that you have to work harder. You have to be watching your surroundings like a hawk, more independent and kind of a loner. For example, when you drink from an open mug while doing activities like walking or driving, adaptations need to be made in your habits. You have to keep your mug in your hand the whole time there’s liquid in it so that there’s no way your hands are on 3:00 and 9:00 o’clock positions on the steering wheel. You have to know the road very well and be ready for the bumps. You have to keep lots of distance between you and everyone else and know when it’s safe to sip. Also, you have to sip very carefully or you risk choking to death, crashing and probably killing everyone in your car in a firey wreck (that almost happened once—don’t tell my husband). And, for me, it’s hard to pay attention to any conversation happening with passengers (usually my children) when I’m so focused on my coffee and the road.
So, what’s the alternative? (Because, getting up earlier so I can drink my coffee before I leave is not an option.) To put my trust in something that may or may not work out the way I want? To make myself more free and available even though I’m not sure what will happen? To leave the cleanliness of my shirt up to chance (I’m probably just going to get chocolate or lunch on it later, anyway), just for safety’s sake?
Life is like a travel mug. You can give it the old college try with the best resources you have and hope it all goes smoothly, or you can try to control your circumstances so much that you’re really sacrificing more security than you’re creating. We have a lot to hope in when God is part of our lives. It can be difficult to step out in faith, but when we believe that God doesn’t call us to anything that He won’t help us finish, it makes it a little easier. Things certainly get messy, surprising and unpredictable, but we’re never left to deal with anything alone. When we have thrills, spills and excitement, God also gives us stain-remover, washing machines and dry cleaners* (*read “sacraments” here).
Jesus told us, “A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10) So, will we choose to have our life stolen from us, or to live it abundantly? Toss your mugs! You know…or put them down gently…and grab a travel mug! Live life like you mean it, and like you know God’s got your back.