The other day I was in the storage room at work with one of the kids I supervise, putting away some items after an activity. The storage area is very small, so many things are pushed up against walls and stuck in corners, including a long rectangular bin we use to hold balls, volleyball nets and other sporting equipment.
On this particular afternoon one of the boys was putting a couple balls into the bin. After putting them in he closed the cover of the bin, except it went almost all the way but wouldn’t really close. He tried again – same thing. Then he proceeded to use more strength to try and shove the cover into place, but it wouldn’t fit. I attempted to help him, but of course, he refused my assistance. After about five minutes of this, with him breathing heavy and getting frustrated, and the cover of the plastic bin getting more battered, he finally gave up. When he did, I didn’t say anything, but merely shifted the bin slightly away from the cupboard which it had been shoved against. Without either of our efforts, the cover for the bin fell smoothly into place.
I was thinking about this incident recently as I think about a situation in my life. I have been trying so hard to make this situation work – about as hard as my kid was trying to make the cover fit. But no matter what I seem to do, things won’t come together smoothly like I want them to. Sometimes part of it fits, but another part doesn’t. Sometimes everything seems to fit but just when I begin to relax, it pops out of place again – just like the bin cover.
It is only after weeks of being frustrated, that I’ve begun to consider that maybe it isn’t working because there is something in the way that I can’t see. Maybe I need someone else to show me what is in the way of my bin cover. I know God often puts others around us who have more experience, who have been in our situations before and who have more perspective than us to help us figure out how to make things fit smoothly. But like my student, I don’t really want that help. I don’t want people in my business and I don’t want to look ignorant in front of someone else. I want to be able to do this on my own. But if we hold on to our pride, we may never be able get where we want to be and, like my kid, may end up causing more harm in the long run. As you go into this week, I encourage you to open your eyes to those around you who are willing to help. Dissolve your pride and allow them into your situation. With wise and godly counsel, we may find simple solutions to our problems that require less effort than we thought.