Ice Cream covers a multitude of screw ups.

I’ve been doing this mom thing for 14 years now and there are things that I’ve gotten pretty good at.

I can pretty much have a balanced dinner on the table every night of the week as long as we’re counting waffles with strawberries and whipped cream as balanced.  (hey, there’s fruit involved!)

I pick my kids up from school on time and am one of those moms who gets there early and spends 15 minutes in the car on their phone because I covet a good parking spot.

Sure, the socks in our house never, ever get matched and folded (who has time for that?!) but there are always clean ones in the ‘sock basket.’  Digging for a match may be required if that’s important to you.  It’s not to my boys.

I’m able to be at most sporting events and am always waiting at the end to give a high five or a hug depending on how the deal went down.

So, it was a blow to my mothering pride when I pulled a whopper this week.  I goes a little like this…

My son runs cross country and is dang good at it.  His school is part of a district meet once a week and he pushes himself to near death and vomiting to do better than he did the week prior.  God has given him a gift.  He has always just been able to run.

When he was in Kindergarten I asked him to run 2 laps of the track with me one day just for fun.  He did 10.  (and left me way behind but that’s a story for another day…)

We arrived at his meet this week eager and ready to run.  He huddled off with his crew before the race and I found my posse to chat with while we waited for our kids to be up.  I glanced at the starting line now and then stating, “Oh, there go the girls,” in between excited stories and loud laughter with my girls.

Time passed and it was just me and one other mom happily talking a mile a minute about everything under the sun.  I saw a new batch of kids take off from the start line and declared, “This must be them.  Grade 5 boys!” and I positioned myself along the path to watch my boy breeze by.

Not 60 seconds later I see him walking across the field towards me with his coach.  Something must be wrong!

I dart over and ask what’s up and his coach matter-of-factly declares, “Oh, he just couldn’t find you.”

Couldn’t find me?  Isn’t he supposed to be running right now?  Why aren’t you in your race?  Were just a few of the questions I threw out.

“Um, his race finished 10 minutes ago.  He came first from our school and ninth in the district.  Didn’t you see?”

*cue that song that plays every time tribal council votes someone off the island*

It was at that moment that I felt like the world’s biggest loser.  Or, at least I thought I was.  Until my son stated, “It’s okay mom.  Talking with your friends is more important than watching me.”

Okay NOW I’m the worlds biggest loser and there might as well be an L painted on my forehead and a giant arrow hovering above me with the worlds “epic failure” attached.  Maybe neon lights dancing around me proclaiming me the winner of the screw up of the day award.

It was good for me, of course.  A little humbling can never do wrong.  It also caused me to think a bit more about my role as a mom and God’s role over me as Father.

Of course, God would never miss a race like I did.  He’s got that whole omnipotent thing on me but rather am I so busy gabbing that I’m missing the race He’s got set out for me?

See, at the same time that I was frittering my time by chit chatting about new products on the market or dinner plans or what colour fence stain is best there was a race going on.  One I was to be a part of.  One that was actually the sole reason I was in that park on a gorgeous sunny fall day.  But I missed it.  I completely missed it for lack of paying attention.

It makes me wonder about my days.  As I’m rushing off to work and vaccuming floors and putting big hearts on every instagram picture I see  am I paying attention to why I’m here?  Why I’ve been placed right here in this place on this very day?  Am I seeing my purpose and taking opportunities placed before me to live out the very reason God made me or am I busy skipping through trivialities and missing the whole point.

I was made aware that day that even with good intention we can miss the point.  Even though we show up where we’re supposed to be, if we’re not paying attention, we can quite easily get too busy to actually be a part of the race.  If we’re not focused and watching and crying out for help we may simply be wandering about the sidelines and never get to be a part of the game.

I felt like a bad mom that day.  Oh, I know my boy will be fine and he likes to make fun of me for it but I truly did.  I don’t want to miss this stuff and I don’t want to miss the exciting stuff that God has planned for me while I’m worried about weeds in the lawn.

Of course, I made it up to him like any good mom would, by getting him ice cream, and he’ll never hold it over my head or make me feel guilt or shame for it.

So, too, with Christ.  No condemnation.  No shame.  No guilt.

Just forgiveness and keeping on.  Just getting back in the race and running with endurance.  Even stopping to walk sometimes is fine.  Maybe bending down to tie a shoe.  As long as we’re facing the right direction it really doesn’t matter how quickly we’re going or even if we stumble but if we’re in the race then lets be in it and not running the wrong way or leading people off on a different path we found.  Let’s be in it and heading in the direction we know we’re to be going.  Chasing Christ with all we have.

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