Munching away on a small bag of M&Ms, I’d gone out to our hammock with three books in hand (The Making of a Christian Bestseller by Ann Byle, Blind Alley by Iris Johansen, and Writing So Heaven Will be Different compiled and edited by Joyce K. Ellis & Tammie Edington Shaw). The bright sunshine and slight breeze created a blissful atmosphere for swaying in a hammock with books. I firmly ignored the three baby wasps who fell off the tree bark upon my arrival while telling myself they’d leave me alone if I left them alone.
So, as I snuggled into the ropes and found perfect holes for my Keds to dig into, I smiled and cracked open Writing So Heaven Will Be Different. The chapters – written by attendees of the Write To Publish Conference at which I’ll be teaching in June – sucked me right in. They kept my attention even as I knocked one of the baby wasps to the grass beneath me.
A few minutes later, though, my fiction-oriented mind pushed my gaze over to the Iris Johansen novel. I set my M&Ms bag on the ground, knocked the baby wasp off again, and considered switching to the story while I watched the wasp crawl near my M&Ms. Deciding the book by my friend, Ann, interested me more, I traded the current read for The Making of a Christian Bestseller. A few pages in, the sweetness of sleep called to me.
I’m a mom of two little ones who rarely choose the same evening to sleep through the night, so sleep is always in short supply for me. I watched the wasp crawl around the candy until my eyes closed.
And then another baby wasp flew by.
I heard his little wings beating the air and knew he was on his way back to the nest to report that the mean human who had been beating on his brother was going to sleep. Soon, they’d have a battle plan in place and I’d wake up to an attack unlike anything I could envision. Time to go in.
Was he in the bag?
With great caution, I picked it up and looked inside. Nope, no wasp.
Which is when it hit me – am I like that wasp?
He’d crawled all around a bag of food that could have lasted him and his little stinging family for days – weeks? – and didn’t even touch it.
Now, maybe wasps just don’t like chocolate (another reason to avoid them – they’re obviously nuts), or maybe the wasp is as dumb as I am sometimes.
How often do I miss a giant dream because I’m so intent on the day-to-day plodding?
I wondered as I walked back to the house. Could the wasp even conceive of something so abundant as an entire bag of sugar? A bag six times his size?
Could I have ever conceived of the rich life with which I’ve been blessed? The ability to call a producer at Good Morning America – and have her take my call. The dream of emailing a reporter at a major national daily – and she emails me back. The gift of giants in the faith, men and women with millions of their books sitting inside homes around the globe – and calling them “my friend.”
A few weeks ago, I sent a message to a well-known country singer. I’m a fan of hers and just wanted to let her know I’d recommended one of her songs as a lead-in to a segment at a morning news show. She sent me back a message of, “Thanks, here’s my number in case you’d like to talk.” Once I quit jumping around my hallway like a two-year-old (seriously, I’m quite the fan of hers), I instant-messaged my husband to tell him what had happened. He said what I think a lot these days, “Honey, you have the coolest life.”
He’s right. It boggles my mind, but I do. I’m inside the bag of M&Ms. Holy smokes! How humbling is that?! But, after watching that wasp and coming in here to tell you this story, I’m thinking – is there a bag of Oreo’s just over there? Am I too content with M&Ms to reach out for anything else?
Does God have other dreams for this life? Dreams I cannot even begin to envision, while I happily munch M&Ms and marvel at their goodness? That’s part of the great comfort for me in being a Christian publicist. The dreaming part is up to Someone bigger than me with a much more exhaustive imagination than I’ll ever possess.
Which means I can enjoy the M&Ms.
And anticipate dunking the Oreos.