It's been a year and a half since I've traveled out of the country, which makes it seem odd to have a passport in my purse.
But my life is made up of odd things, and I found it down with the gum wrappers and random paper clips in the bottom of my purse.
Republic of Korea, Republic of India, Department of Homeland Security. All the stamps in my little scrapbook make me smile and remember.
One of the kids asked why I had it with me.
After more than an hour in the waiting room of the doctor's office with four kids, groceries still left to buy, and a 4:30 practice to taxi to, this just seemed like a totally appropriate response:
"You never know when I might want to leave the country."
The kids laughed and that's always the best medicine, but it really is true.
You never know, so you might as well be prepared.
Which is what we talked about Sunday at church, about being prepared and numbering our days and fully resting in His timing, without falling asleep.
A lot of people sleep in the waiting room.
So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~ Psa 90:12 NKJV
I decided that I might just keep that passport handy-in-the-purse, for a reminder because I so desperately need to be reminded. Because I race through life like everything is an emergency sometimes, and I forget that life is made up of all these moments that we have to choose, and we keep on choosing as long as we have days left, whether we let them be emergency-moments or slowing-down-to-live moments. Slowing down to remember.
They are all numbered, the days you and I have. He alone knows the multitude of them and when He comes for me...oh, let me be ready.
Let me live in that waiting room, listening for my name to be called, cleaning out the junk I carry around so as to find the things that really matter and the things that make me ready. I can chat with the others who are waiting, encourage the passport-carriers and elbow awake the sleepers. You could be called, anytime.
And yes, the wait might seem long.
Strangely, in a teacher-she-took-cuts kinda way, some who came last are called in first. Maybe they had an appointment or maybe their issues were more urgent, but I'll just wait patiently for my turn. I'll just help my kids understand the waiting as best I can.
This isn't the vain waiting of Waiting for Godot, though our ignorance and impatience are similar. We know Who's coming, we wait with Him and for Him, and that's amazing mystery and comfort.
This waiting room is joy, right here, and so much more joy awaiting. And we never worry about not having the passport, because we're sealed-up with His Spirit right in us, and He knows our homeland.
Homeland Security, indeed. Doesn't that make you smile?