“I can’t find my boots! Where are my BOOTS?”
This was, of course, a crisis because we were dealing with a 15-year-old daughter who absolutely needed her boots RIGHT THEN because at the football game, they were supposed to dress as “cowboys or Indians.” And of course her ride was about to pick her up any minute.
I told her where the boots should be in the basement. She couldn’t find them, of course.
I looked where I thought they should be, on the shelf in the “boiler room” as we call it.
There was a small box there, which I passed over. Surely that couldn’t contain boots, since I knew mine were with hers. That much I remembered.
I ended up clearing out a lot of junk in the basement trying to find those boots. (God’s grace and sense of humor. I did need to clear out all that junk months ago. Guess God knew I needed a little nudge. Averting another teenage crisis was enough incentive to at least do a little.)
I found the boots.
They were in the small box that I’d overlooked. I went back and opened it up after all, because I KNEW I had put those boots on that shelf.
I just didn’t see it at first because . . .
Because I didn’t expect them to be there.
Just so I’d get the point, the very next morning–not 12 hours later–I was about to wash a sweater. I looked at the tag for directions on how to wash the garment. I squinted at it, and finally asked my husband to verify: “Gene, do you see any instructions in English here?”
He did not. We tried to figure out the “universal symbols” (which I never can decipher) and I washed the garment using my best guesses from the Spanish and French and those symbols.
When I took the garment out of the dryer, I noticed another tag that DID have instructions in English.
How had I missed it?
I wasn’t looking for it.
Just as with the boots, I didn’t see what I didn’t expect to see. I assumed there was only ONE location for a tag with washing instructions. In this case, there was one on the collar and one on the lower seam. You’d think I’d have thought to look, but I didn’t–at first.
I think God was trying to show me something, because the same basic thing happened twice within such a short period of time.
We only see what we expect to see.
And: We don’t see what we don’t expect to see.
What might God be trying to show you–about himself, about yourself, about how you’re viewing a situation or person–that you aren’t seeing because it’s not what you expect to see?
What surprises and delights–what abundant gifts– might you begin to see if you open your eyes and pray, “God, help me to see what you want me to see, and to expect to see marvelous things”?
“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.'” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT)