Lately I’ve had a bad case of Bingo Tumbler Brain.
I’ve tried to write them all down on my calendar. I’ve locked them in my phone’s calendar app and tagged most of them with reminders.
I’ve stuck post-it notes to my phone, purse, and steering wheel.
I’ve even been confronted by my boys for writing on my hands.
And yet, with all those heroic attempts at punctual organization, time keeps cranking the tumbler and the information goes round and round, mixing at random.
The harder I focus on that one thing tumbling round and round–the more I try not to forget it–the dizzier I become.
Case in point: October 15 was National Take Your Parent to Lunch Day, and it was heavily promoted at our school. The ironic thing is that it’s all up to the parent to make it happen. As with much of parenting, you could call it a gift of grace: It costs the parent time, money, and maybe a little headache. It costs the little recipient nothing, and he delightfully receives it without apology.
- Don’t forget to call the exterminator.
- Don’t forget to buy ingredients for Zach’s Egyptian dessert…Friday…5th period…
- Don’t forget to return the movie you rented but never watched.
- Don’t forget to put the clothes in the dryer.
So I was a teensy bit annoyed when my phone went, “Ding!”
I reached to read my text and almost fainted.
“Levi is in the lunchroom. Are you on your way?”
I broke into a sweat and started crying. Some demon in my head started laughing and chanting
Loser! Loser! Disgusting Loser!
I grabbed my last best accessory, my hat, and jumped in the car. For 15 minutes I tried to pull it together. It’s just lunch. It happens to everyone. Levi doesn’t mind school spaghetti.
But that same chanting demon was screaming louder, You cannot be trusted with the simplest task!
I pressed the little candy bar into his hand. He smiled, tore it open, and in two bites it was gone.
I sat in the lunchroom by Spencer who did NOT enjoy the school’s spaghetti, and then I gave him the other candy bar.
The bingo tumbler had started back up, and I kept reaching into my brain to retrieve the right time and location of the next thing I didn’t want to forget.
I felt a migraine coming on.
When I picked them up that afternoon I said again, “Guys, I’m just sooo, so sorry about forgetting today.”
And I was reminded again that I have not yet surrendered the full space of the bingo tumbler to a mindset of grace, the message of the gospel.
Unless you recognize how badly you’ve screwed up and that you’re your screw-ups can’t be undone.
That’s when you realize grateful acceptance is your only option.
And when your son says, “It’s no big deal,” you just say, “Thanks.”
And when I take hold of grace that’s been offered, I find I’m far more likely to offer it to others.