Whack-A-Mole


Ever play Whack-a-Mole?

I used to love that arcade game. The player is armed with a hefty mallet and stands before a board covered with holes. When the game begins, automated moles pop up at random and the player gets points for every mole he whacks back into the hole. I was always a high scorer. I used to love Whack-a-Mole when it was just a game.

But now, it’s my life.

If I were standing before a giant map of my life, the big red X indicating “You Are Here” would actually be a photo of Whack-a-Mole.

My husband is sick – mystery illness. My roof leaks. My son is twenty and figuring out his future. My daughter is sixteen – that’s right – sixteen. There’s a pipe leaking in my basement (different leak than the roof leak because one leak is just not enough!) My parents bring joy to every moment of every day (OK, my mother reads my blog – you all have parents, translate.) I’m forty-eight, still trying to lose my baby weight (not from being pregnant – from being an actual baby) and still trying to publish a book. I home school. I work part-time. I just moved back to my hometown after thirty years. It’s rained 25 of the last 30 days – did I mention my roof leaks?

Whack-A-Mole.

I’m not the first person to be here. Troubles are a favorite theme of the Psalmists.
A righteous man may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all.” Psalm 34:19

The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.” Psalm 25:17

For troubles without number surround me;” Psalm 40:12a

Troubles also pop up in the New Testament “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b

What’s the answer?

Well, I know it’s not holding my breath and waiting for everything to be fine.

I couldn’t possibly wait until things are fine to experience joy. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4 to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” So nice, Paul tells us twice!

It’s possible for Jesus followers to find joy that is not dependant on circumstances. Joy is a choice. Joy is a fruit of the spirit. Joy appears in unexpectedly simple packages: a song, a dance, a child, a bird, a kindness, a joke, a stupid movie, a friend.

God gave us laughter as a gift and it’s waiting for us around every corner.

I remember a time when my kids were young and I decided to get “back into shape.” One Sunday afternoon I headed to the Y and jumped onto a workout bike. As I exercised, I noticed that several men were looking in my direction.

“Wow.” I thought humbly. “Maybe I don’t look as bad as I thought. Perhaps I’m being hard on myself.” I began to pump harder and yet maintained a nonchalant expression since I am, after all, a married woman. Another glance up, however, thrilled me with the knowledge that I had the attention of most of the men in the room. I pushed that bike to Tour de France pace.

Suddenly, the men in the room let out a unified cheer. “Wait a minute.” I thought. “What’s going on?” I looked at them all and realized they were not looking directly at me but slightly over my head. I glanced up to discover that I had chosen to work out under the only TV playing the Patriot’s game that afternoon.

See, laugh. It’s OK. I did.

I remember another time when I was touring a huge furniture consignment shop with my mother and my aunt somewhere in South County. We were greeted enthusiastically by a very large man with one arm who gave me a giant, sloppy hug. I endured the hug assuming he was one of the countless distant relations we encountered all the time whenever we ventured out but after hugging me, he moved on and went about his business. I turned to my mother and aunt who were standing with raised eyebrows. “Who was that?” They asked. “What do you mean, who was that? Isn’t he some distant cousin or uncle once removed?” They shook their heads. “We’ve never seen that man before in our lives.”

See, laugh. Go ahead.

I am loved. I love others. I know Jesus. He made some very comical creatures, I know, I’m one of them. So are you. I laugh at things you do all the time but I’ll only tell stories about me on this blog (I’m saving the ones about you for the book where I make the big bucks!) 🙂

When life is like a game of Whack-A-Mole, we’ve just go to pull out our giant rubber mallet and keep whacking.

But God gave us another tool for survival – joy. Don’t wait for it. Look for it. Choose it. Pursue it. Engage it.

Rejoice. Rejoice in the Lord, always, again I say, rejoice.

If you don’t know the Lord, find Him first.

If you do know the Lord, find joy in today. It’s there. I promise. It could be worse. You could be the mole.

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11 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Hi Lori,
    Loved this post and it hit the right spot as I have been contemplating joy in the midst of every day life. Thanks for sharing!

    Tamara

  2. Andrea says:

    OH MY…GOD bless you, sweet one! I am praying for your hubby, but most especially for you. I have raised 5 kids. Well, all but one is grown and it NEVER ends. As I pray for you, I am praising GOD that my roof does not leak!! Thank you for making me realize my day was not as troublesome as I thought. My heart and prayers are with you. May tomorrow bring answers, healing, peace, and comfort.
    Blessings, love, and prayers, andrea

  3. Joe Crowley says:

    Hi Sis, We just spent 2 days re-shingling the part of the roof that didn’t leak to begin with. See you in a couple of days, after a couple more storms, to do the rest. If you need any buckets, give me a call. You can’t do things Haitian, especially move, without buckets! We have a few to spare. Wack a mole, no not Rob, and laugh for me too!!! Love you guys, Joe

  4. Hi Tamara, Thanks for dropping by. Glad God had a word for you here! Rejoice!

  5. Andrea, wow, five kids! I know parenting has never ended for my mother and I’m 48! Glad I could help you see the light in your day! You’re a faithful reader.

  6. Thanks for the roof work, Bro! Can’t believe I slept through it all today. We’re well acquainted with buckets here – I just didn’t know that made us multi-cultural! Maybe all this is simply good missionary training! Who knows what God has planned!

  7. Dorothy P says:

    Lori: You humble me. You make me laugh yet fill me with admiration. Thank you for creating this blog.

  8. Jackie says:

    Hi Lori. This is a great post. Thank you…I needed to read this today. I hope your husband is better soon.

    Jackie

  9. Thank you for stopping by, Dorothy. I honestly came kicking and screaming to the world of blogging but I’m finding that I love it! In the craziness of the world today, I’m honored and blessed to have made you laugh. Thank you for telling me.

  10. Thank you for your prayers for my husband, Jackie. He has a biopsy Friday and then we have another long wait while all of his test results are sent to Dana Farber. I hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping in.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Hey Lori, thanks for the reminder about finding joy – I forget that so easily!! And I love that you’re trying to lose your ‘original’ baby fat. Ha! I’m going to have to remember that!!