lessons from real life
| Once upon a time a harried mother, forgetting what God had taught her about not needing to take advantage of every good opportunity, committed to a ridiculous schedule of driving children hither & yon nonstop on a frigid winter Friday. This included an early morning mass ten miles away, a home school art class at her own home immediately afterwards, then skipping a crabby four-year-old's nap to take two teenagers in the raging snow to their carpool ten miles away for a weekend youth group retreat, then back home to watch a friend's daughter while she took a Holy Hour at church, then cooking dinner & immediately afterwards driving a child an hour away to Toledo to spend the weekend with her Godparents for her Godsister's confirmation. Now this harried mother was hell-bent on completing the drive to Toledo that very night, despite the raging blizzard, because then she wouldn't have to haul the younger kids out in the cold early the next morning in order to be back for a noontime birthday party for the youngest two kids. Besides which, she had offered to watch a friend's daughter before the party while the friend took a couple kids to a soccor game. It all made perfect sense to her.
Well- in comes the harried mother's husband from work, late & wild-eyed after a grueling drive through ten miles of ice, drifting snow, zero visibility & multiple accidents.
"No way do I want you going out on those roads tonight!" he told her forcefully. "No one should be out there unless they absolutely have to."
"OK, if you think that's really necessary" said the harried but submissive wife. "I'll start making all the phone calls letting people down and making plans for getting the kids out REALLY early in the morning." Her husband, tired from his long day delivering mail out in the elements, missed her biting sarcasm. In the meantime, she inwardly fumed at his insensitivity to her needs, grumbling to herself about how easy it was for him to demand that she stay home that evening when HE would escape the next morning while SHE was the one who had to wake up the little kids too early & face another day of sleep-deprived crabbiness, dragging them all out in the bitter snow, not to mention facing the embarrassment of backing out on commitments to her friends.
But, she was in the end a submissive wife.
She made her embarrassing phone calls, then laid on the couch, pouting. She spent the entire evening ignoring her husband and children. As the evening wore on, the harried wife's cough, which had been plaguing her for more than a month, began getting more and more violent & her throat became a torture. Evening turned to night and her cough and breathing got steadily worse. She barely slept, despite using every asthma medication in their well-stocked home pharmacy.
Morning came. As she moved about her cough subsided and she was able to breathe. The sun rose gloriously, to a crystaline morning. Snow plows and salt trucks wended their merry way through the streets. The young kids, having slept well & anticipating the fun of a birthday party, awoke cheerful and rested. All were ready long before they needed to load into the car for Toledo. The drive itself was clear & bright, with nary a patch of ice or drift left after the nightime vigilance of the county plows. The harried mother had time to chat with the godparents, drive home in a leisurely manner, and sit restfully amid celebrating children at a delightful party for which she had no responsibility beyond eating the food served to her. Afterwards she was able to give a ride home to the child whose grateful mother she had let down earlier. She and her children arrived home with a full afternoon stretching ahead in which they all could nap.
The harried mother kissed her husband when he came home that night, thanked him for his wisdom the night before, and apologized for her grumbling heart.
The moral of this true life story? God sends spouses to protect us from our own stupidity. We should listen to them.