I went on an Easter egg hunt. All by myself. In the fabric store. I found nothing!!
Here’s the story:
My daughter and I spent a wonderful afternoon together on Friday. With her being a working mommy to two little ones now, these times are rare and priceless to this momma’s heart. She needed to stop at the fabric store to buy some material to make an Easter bowtie for her two year old.
Being a helpful mother, I began looking for a coupon I could download for her. I found one, but I also found something else. The fabric store was sponsoring an Easter egg hunt! How clever is that? I saw three brightly colored eggs on my phone screen and started reading about the prizes: discounts, candy, and gift cards. Not a bad deal.
At just the same time, I heard an announcement being made through the store’s PA system. The announcement was in regard to the same egg hunt. I only caught part of the message, but I definitely heard the part that encouraged me to find the eggs before they were all gone.
So after telling my daughter that I was going to wander a bit while she continued shopping, off I traipsed to find myself a prize-containing egg. I looked on shelves, in baskets, through skeins of yarn and silk flowers, high and low, aisle after aisle. I failed to spy even one little egg. Someone sure had done a good job of hiding them! I honestly considered telling the management I was fairly sure all the eggs were already gone. I was kind of bummed, in an adult kind of way, of course. I didn’t get a poochy lip and throw a tantrum, but I became more determined as I hunted. I was going to locate one of those eggs!
The longer I searched, the faster my feet carried me. My eyes quickly scanned shelf after shelf because I knew my daughter would soon call with the news she was finished shopping. I just had to find one silly egg before she called!
And then she called.
I answered, but not on the first chime. I reluctantly affirmed I would meet her at the front of the store – that dumb store that either made the eggs too hard to find or hadn’t hidden enough of them. But I wouldn’t complain. I’d merely accept my defeat. After all, I had searched every aisle. I’d tried.
When my daughter asked what I had been doing, I explained I’d been on an egg hunt. After a brief pause, she asked me if I was sure I had the correct date for the hunt. I answered with certainty that the ad said it was on Saturday.
That’s when she reminded me it was Friday. Friday, April 14th. Not the 15th.
The eggs were probably lying ready in the back office somewhere, awaiting the hiding. For the people that came on Saturday. For people who didn’t get so excited they forgot to read and listen carefully.
My emotions were incredibly mixed up at that point. Obviously, I laughed. I think my daughter laughed harder though. I couldn’t blame her a bit. I also experienced feelings she didn’t feel: chagrin, disappointment, and a huge ah-ha moment.
I ‘d just completed an absolutely futile hunt. No matter how hard or long I searched, I was never going to find an egg that day.
I’d acted impetuously, caught up in the thrill of the hunt and with an overwhelming desire to obtain the prize.
I wish I could tell you it’s the only time I’ve done something like that. But it’s not. Those who know me understand how easily I can become excited. I’m thankful there was no remorse involved in my mistake. No one had been hurt. That was good.
I started thinking (and laughing once again) about my pointless race later in the evening. What had gone wrong?
Well, the answer was obvious. I’d done exactly what I had repeatedly told my students not to do. Do not assume the instructions. READ them.
The Lord gave instructions for life long ago in His Word. The guidance He’s given will lead me aright every single day. He also offers truth about the right way to live as I pray, talking to Him and allowing Him to speak to my heart. But I often find myself racing ahead, hurrying through my time with Him, not taking the time to truly absorb all He has for me each day. I sometimes allow that special time to become a routine.
And I fail.
There is good news though. I can retrace my steps back to Him. He forgives, cleanses, and restores me to the race. All is not lost. I can still win the prize.
I walked away from the store disappointed and empty-handed yesterday. Oh, I had hunted. But I had not hunted the right thing. I should have searched through the instructions first. But I didn’t.
Guess what? I will next time! I will even read the small print.
And maybe I’ll find a prize next year.
(More good news: at least my phone was counting my steps!!!)
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8