Ivy is on vacation. But Ernie and I carpooled to work, even though Ivy is not with us.
I’m driving us and thinking about the rising cost of gas. I’m wondering if driving to work makes sense?
I’m knocking around this question when Ernie says,
“Have you ever done this?”
Totally oblivious I said, “Excuse me, done what?”
“Here’s the thing,” Ernie said. “I’ve asked myself many times, why am I here instead of there?”
“I’m sorry, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
The traffic was flowing pretty smoothly. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how sometimes you just seem to hit it right? This morning was one of those days. I didn’t stop and wait but twice so far. Good timing? I don’t know.
“OK, follow this,” Ernie continued, “why am I from the United States instead of South Korea?”
I smiled inside. “I don’t know… because you speak English instead of Korean?”
“Um, let me try this. Why am I not Asian, Indian, Hispanic, African or some other nationality?”
I tap the brake pedal with my right foot because the car in front of me is slowing down and moving over to the left turn lane.
“Alright, I think I get what you’re saying. Why are you an American instead of something else?”
“What are you thinking Ernie?”
“I’m asking myself, is there any good reason God did this to me?”
“Why am I a boy instead of a girl? Why am I tall instead of short? Or on another matter, why am I poor instead of rich?”
“So you’re curious if God has a plan and purpose for you here where you are?
“Yes, I am.”
We’d be at work in less than ten minutes.
“Well, Ernie, do you think God thinks far enough ahead to design an actual plan for each of us?”
“Good question. I’m leaning towards yes, the Lord has a perfect reason for making me and you the way we are and placing us here instead of there.”
I turned into the downtown parking garage.
“Yes. So my next question is, what opportunities do I have available, do you have available, because God has allowed you to experience what you have experienced where you have experienced it?
I tucked my car between the white lines in a parking spot so my car maybe wouldn’t get dinged. I switched off the engine, turned in my seat so I could look at Ernie and said,
“I’ll have to think about that.”
Beyond the obvious—I am the way I am and where I am because of the choices I’ve made—I still ask myself: God, why did you make me this way?
God, why am I here instead of there?
When I get honest with myself, I begin seeing what I am and where I am. And it’s then, I start to appreciate the opportunities opening to me.
I see that God can use every experience I’ve experienced to transform me into the person I could be (I can be) that God desires me to be.
Because I am who I am I have the opportunity to do what no one else can do. Because I am where I am, I have opportunities to achieve what no one else can achieve. It’s a challenging thought.
For evidence, I offer stories like Rehab, Ruth, Samson. These are stories of people who may have asked, as I did, “Lord, why am I me, why am I here?”
Even though they questioned God about why they were who they were, they did not put God off. God used who they were and where they were to set them up to do what they did.
Their experience became preparation.
You know, it’s a human thing to blame God or someone or something else and not see who we are and where we are as an opportunity right in front of us.
It isn’t easy getting your head around this sort of thinking, but give it some more thought.
Thanks for listening to Lee’s Nite Radio.