Friday, September 5, 2008

The secret to winning the waiting game

I was so frustrated I could (and did) scream. My three younger boys were in the “tweener” stage of life. NO not the 12 year old kind, the really, really bad one, the 16-19, the boys to men kind. There are lots of tweener stages in life but we will save that for another time. This time they were begging me for permission to go on and outing with their cousin to Sheep’s Crossing to go swimming. It is a beautiful scenic place we had been to as a family but I knew what they really wanted to do. They had seen a rope tied to the bridge that had intriguing possibilities. That bridge is about 40’ over the water and more importantly 2 hours of washboard dirt road in any direction to help. If you don’t understand my hesitation it is obvious you do not know my boys (or their Uncle Dave who will jump of anything). They were at that stage in life where they needed to be making their own decisions as much as possible, but in the pit of my stomach I knew it was as close to a perfect bad idea. We discussed, negotiated and settled on NO JUMPING OFF THE BRIDGE. My parting words were spoken with a combination of disgust, aggravation and defeat: “if you have to go kill yourself go” I said referring to everyone in general and no one in particular. They left celebrating their one of their first victories of manhood. Tweeners tend to think negotiated permission is some form of approval. My 10 grand kids are really getting even for me now! They left ecstatic in the joy of their victory never once considering that I, by some mysterious fluke, could just happen to be right. A few hours later Jarrood, my nephew, called. They should be NO WHERE NEAR A PHONE! (Tuck this away: NEVER negotiate with a tweener, DICTATE! I ruled out the 40’ bridge but not the 80’ cliff!) He bold faced lied to Dee telling her everything was all right and he just needed to talk to me. Yea, like she believed him…NOT! In my head I can still hear the brief conversation. It began, “Uncle Don, David fell off a cliff. We know he broke some bones and we think he has internal injuries”. David had fallen of a 60’ cliff and had been air lifted to a hospital somewhere. The exact description of events is still under debate today but the agreed upon fact was me made an unscheduled exit from the side of a 60-80 foot cliff, landed feet first on the rocky bank below and rolled into the water. Have you ever wanted to take your parting words back? Me too. Two hours of calling every hospital in the valley turned up nothing. Waiting for David, for even a shred of information about his condition, whereabouts or anything was an emotional rollercoaster in the dark and out of control on a seemingly endless track. There was no way to prepare yourself for the next turn. No way to know when the ride would be over or how it would end. I’ll bet you have a waiting story too. After a little over two hours of fighting panic, fighting the urge to make any and every deal with God imaginable, fighting back tears, feigning a false courage and finding some solace in the fact I had not thrown up…yet… we found David was in a trauma center 20 minuets away. I don’t believe it took that long that day. I have no recollection whatever of the trip. I assume I drove. I must have. My car was in the parking lot later when we left. David would be and was ok. Today he is an accomplished Flight paramedic (that’s the best of the best boys) and was just promoted to Captain in the Surprise, AZ fire department. He is heading up the Surprise SWAT team Paramedic program. (OK I will admit that was a shameless brag line, but I earned every bit of it in those two hours!) As a side note, if you ever plan to have an accident or need a paramedic I would highly recommend you do it in Surprise. David is special to me, but they have a group of the finest and most capable young men I have ever met…and a few old salts to keep them in line. I don’t have to try to convince you that waiting for someone is one of the hardest things we have to do in life. But the sweetness of waiting with them! What a difference. Just this week I have waited with David twice. Once was a life or death situation that I felt very comfortable with because David was the first responder. It worked perfectly. The second time was last night. Tori was not acting like her normal self. She was content to sit on Sweeties lap and just look. Doni was concerned because Tori is in the process of learning to sit up on her own. Yea, she bonked her head several times yesterday. Picture this. Doni crosses the room with her littlest treasure on earth and hands her to David. NOW I am waiting WITH David the proven paramedic who handles the life and death calls. David does whatever it is that paramedics do…Probes this, pulls that, stares into her eyes, twist the other thing. Since there is not chance I could spell the diagnosis, I will summarize. She’s fine. I am convinced…and she was and still is.

There is a huge difference between waiting FOR someone and waiting WITH some one. No where is the distinction more critical than in our life with Jesus. My buddy Oswald Chambers encourages us to watch WITH Jesus.

“Watch with Me.” Jesus was saying, in effect, “Watch with no private point of view at all, but watch solely and entirely with Me.” In the early stages of our Christian life, we do not watch with Jesus, we watch for Him. We do not watch with Him through the revealed truth of the Bible even in the circumstances of our own lives. Our Lord is trying to introduce us to identification with Himself through a particular “Gethsemane” experience of our own.

I think I spent way to much agonizing time this week waiting FOR Jesus to do something than waiting in faith WITH Jesus to do the same thing. I did better than I used to, but not as well as I should because He did it again, miraculously, wonderfully, completely, but without all the Glory my faith of watching WITH Him would have brought Him. I am going to try to remember the difference between with and for next time. Are you with me?


Doni Brinkman said...

I am sooooo with you. Sooo with you. P.S. Your blog is my FAVORITE blog to read. I mean it.

P.S. Dad whatever you do - DO NOT EVER tell Susie wear Sheep's Crossing is! NOT EVER! :) :)

Laurie said...

Out of all the blogs so far, this one is my favorite. Waiting WITH is something that I need to learn! I know that every time I have had to wait through any crisis, Jesus was there waiting with me but I was too stubborn to see it. I am so happy He waited FOR me...:)

Jarrod Haggard said...

Wow...that was pretty harsh Uncle. "bold-face lie"? Of all the things that happened that day, you really found it necessary to include that? I'm hurt;) My cousin, and my best friend just fell past me on his way to the rocks below, (I can still close my eyes and hear the wind as he fell...and the landing on the rocks) I had no idea what to do, but, as a "tweener" I was excersising my "adult" decision-making, and I didn't want to burden Aunt Dee with something she could do nothing about.

Now that I'm older, I understand that was probably not the best thing to do, and it wasn't my decision to make for her...but, man, you gotta bury the hatchet sometime;) least you didn't re-tell the story of me shooting her pig a short time after "The Fall Of David"...that was a bad one.

jolleyzoo said...

Side Note: Oh my dear Doni, would you hold your breath if I told you that I have already tried to adventure this area?? In fact, once you get down bloody basin junction, and right before you head east, if you jump out of your truck my frinds and I have left a little marking kinda of "who is brave enough to come back" sign chart. For our just in case moments.
Because I love your family so much and repect them I don't think I could ever let any of you know when and if I would ever go back. To be honest I think I am getting to old for this kind of stuff, my body takes way to long to recover my teenaged thoughts. I don't think the thrill of cliff jumping can ever be replaced, but I know you will be happy to hear that I am certainly concidering a new hobby, but I have promised myself one last adventure for this coming summer. Yes, I will keep it safe.

Dear Papapondering,

I get the message, but I have found myself on both side of the road. One, I understand David's young heart to test his limits of thrill seeking, and two I can understand the fear and panic you must have been going through as his father.
There are times in my life that it is so easy to say " Jesus take the wheel", "let it be", "thy will be done" while other times I find myself fighting wanting to be in control, trying to change the things in front of me to make it easier for my life. Taking chances that are just plain stupid, can you tell I am finding human limitations can pretty tricky?
Taking your message and posting it to my dresser.
" I am going to try to remember the difference between with and for"

Doni Brinkman said...

Uh I was wondering if Jarrod would read this LOL. And let's not retell the pig story. Mom might get mad all over again. That should have a 20 year rule on it. :)

Don Z said...

Sorry Jarrood but I have to be real. How about a good intentioned bold faced lie? The pig is probably a pretty safe topic now. Mom was not especially fond of it anyway. I would suggest you NEVER mention the wooden play house. She is definitely never gonna get over that one.

Jarrod Haggard said...

"Not especially fond of it"? She wouldn't let me come over to your house for almost four weeks after the incident;) haha...and thanks for bringing up the playhouse, Doni reads this, and she's never forgiven me for that either.

Doni Brinkman said...

Ya that playhouse should qualify as necessity for a trip to the "woodshack" instead of the shack. ;)