This past week I was in Chicago for the Story Conference. It was a great conference and this isn't a post about all the stuff that I took away. I am not very good at recapping things. For me it was either good or bad. And Story was good. It was 5am on Saturday morning and we were packing up our stuff at the hotel to leave for the airport. I just got out of the shower and was about to put stuff in my hair. I always take off my wedding ring to do this. So, I took of my ring set it on the counter and put the stuff in my hair. I kept getting ready, got my bag, walked to the elevator, got in the van and headed to the airport. About half way to the airport I went to play with my ring with my thumb, like I do 100 times a day, but this time was a different. My ring wasn't there. It was still sitting on the counter in the hotel bathroom. Instantly I was overwhelmed by the "feeling." The "feeling" is when you know that you've made a mistake and you know that correcting it will take time and energy. The "feeling" when your stomach falls out and you want to swear. So without thinking I let out a gasp in the van. The guys immediately asked what was wrong and we called the hotel. I gave them my address to mail the ring back and the hotel said they would ship it right away. As I write this post I am wearing my wedding ring. Everything worked out. So, if you have the "feeling" thinking I lost my wedding ring, fear not, I have it back!
It took about 3 days to get my ring back. For three days I was ringless. Every couple of seconds I was going to re-adjust my ring and realizing it wasn't there. It was all I could think about it. I felt like everyone was staring at my hand. It was missing and I felt it. It was actually all I could feel. I didn't realize how much it had become a part of me for the past 16 months of my life. It really got me thinking about the idea of something missing. It is such a unique feeling that you can't describe until your in the midst of it. We were created to be filled with the spirit of God, but because of our broken world we all live with the feeling that something is missing. Jesus gives us the opportunity to be filled with his spirit and to eliminate that missing feeling. It seems so obvious to me that people in our world are looking for something to fill that void. We consume and consume all that we can to try and fill us and nothing ever seems to work. Feeling like something is missing is so distinct and overwhelming. It consumes our thoughts, our actions and everything we do. I don't know where you are while reading this, but if you feel like something is really missing, deep down within you, I want you to know that the only thing that can ever fill that is the Spirit of God. Maybe you've heard that before and have resentment toward the idea of God and Christ, but I urge you to take a personal journey into the gospels and find out who Christ is and what his promises can do for you.
I've had my ring back for over a week now, but I am so much more aware that it's there. I think there are seasons of our lives where we feel like God is missing, but are we aware when he's not? Are we noticing the beauty, grace and love he has filled our lives with? Or do we only notice when something is missing? I find myself appreciating my ring much more which has helped me appreciate my wife much more. I think in the same way we can realize how glorious God is and appreciate every aspect of life that he's given us a little more.