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Drop-off Lane

God is good. He wants His best for me. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Check. Check. Check. Being a Christian is easy. It is so easy to agree to all of this when life is good…when things are easy. It is simple to embrace these promises when God’s will is lining up with ours. We get the sense God is blessing our plans and life is good. Being a Christian is easy. Except when it’s not. Except when we are also single moms working full-time. Or when we go on another date that ends horribly. Or when we are waiting in the drop-off lane at Solon Middle School in the morning…

The morning was going great. I got up with my alarm and was able to complete my devotional and a little prayer time. K got up with relatively little grumbling. My hair dried quickly and the protein shake was tasty. Life was good as we headed to town and practiced Spanish nouns for K’s quiz. The sun was shining on the beautiful fields…ah, it was a movie type morning. If I turned down the horrible rap music blasting in the car, I am sure I could have heard birds chirping. Sigh. Awesome mom moment. School on time. Child rested, fed and ready for school. And then it happened…the drop-off lane.

I am thinking it should actually be called the sanity drop-off. Seriously, it seems really, really simple. There are lots of cars, so there is plenty of time spent as you near the school waiting your turn at the 4-way stop. The school is clearly visible as you approach, so even your middle schooler’s brain should be registering that drop-off will be happening in a few moments. As adults, we should be thinking about wrapping up our conversations and giving final instructions about being polite and have a good day and all the other things moms say every, single morning. When we enter the parking lot and start the circle around to the drop-off lane, the children should most likely be gathering bags and preparing to exit the car. As we near the doors, the children can unbuckle, exit the car and wave as they head to the school. We should then drive back out into the sunshine and reflect on how God is so very good to us.

However, the reality is I am stopped halfway around the circle. Has there been a horrible accident? Is there a child on crutches? What could possibly be holding up the traffic at this point? As I glance ahead, I physically feel my blood pressure increasing. What in the world? It is a minivan with one child. Both of the sliding side doors are open and the child seems to be going in and out of the vehicle. Why doesn’t he have his bag? Why is the mother not throwing the child’s things outside so the rest of us can continue? What is happening to the beautiful, simple system? I take a deep breath…both doors shut and the child heads toward the school. Ahhhhhhh, the birds begin to chirp again and I inch my car forward. Whoa! No one is moving and I slam on the brakes. The minivan is sitting there. Just sitting there as the child slowly wanders towards the doors. WHY?!?

Then, the mom opens the passenger window, yells out to the child and he begins walking back TOWARDS the van which is currently blocking about 847 other cars. What in the world? Jesus…take the wheel. I can’t. I just can’t. THIS IS NOT HOW DROP-OFF WORKS!!! There are simple rules and some common sense things that we must all agree on to make this happen. This is not OK. This is not fair. And this is not a very Christian reaction. It is, however, a human reaction. It is the reaction of a mom who is trying to get to her first meeting of the day. It is the reaction of someone who needs more Jesus.

Jesus wants us to want Him. He wants us to need Him. And my episode in the drop-off line shows me, almost daily, how bad I need Him. How much I need to grow in my quest to love like Jesus loves. I understand this is a simple example but I think it applies to much more. Life is hard. Things happen that seem really unfair and there is pain in the world that seems to be pointless. It is hard to be a mom and a friend and a colleague. There are times when it seems overwhelming and we naturally, in our humanness, question the goodness of God. We question if, in fact, our lives are currently His best. We question why in Heaven people who irresponsibly drive minivans in the school drop-off line are allowed to not be struck down by lightning. But it happens. Because we are human. Because we are broken. And because we need to need God.

So, carry on moms who freak out in cars, and moms who just want to go on one good date this year. Question God but know…He is there. He is a good God and He wants His best for us always. It isn’t easy to always feel this when life sucks but we know it when life is good. And once we rely on God for our strength, we can believe it again. Even on the really bad days.