So, it’s official. Next summer, Wes and I are going to Israel with our church.
This is especially exciting for us, given that we had to back out of a similar trip twelve years ago because we found out we were pregnant. I was pretty sure back then that we wouldn’t get another chance, yet here it is, and we’re so thrilled.
We had an informational meeting on the trip a few weeks ago, and because it was right after church, the girls were with us. They listened to all the details and looked at pictures of all we’d be seeing, and at the end of the meeting, Ana said to me, very simply, “I want to go to Israel, too.”
I’m not immune to Mommy Guilt, so I instantly felt bad about our plans to go off and enjoy this trip without them. Sure, they’re young enough that I don’t think they’d remember much of Israel if they went now, but that didn’t mean I didn’t feel bad hearing that Ana wanted to go.
“I tell you what,” I said, already thinking of ways that I could start saving up to get all four of us to Israel together (that’s a whole lot of books to write, y’all), “if it’s really important to you, we’ll figure out a way to get you to Israel one of these days.”
And I meant it. I was willing to figure out a way, save up the money, and make it happen a few years down the road. I was offering Ana Israel, and she looked up at me and said, with complete sincerity, “I think I’d like to go to Great Wolf Lodge instead.”
Don’t get me wrong. Great Wolf Lodge is… well, it’s great and all, hence the name. But a trip to Great Wolf Lodge is definitely not a trip to Israel. I was offering her a longer trip to a centuries old destination that people consider to be a once in a lifetime experience, and she was settling for a water park just down the road from her grandparents’ house in Texas.
I was thinking the other day about the choices we make and how we sometimes settle for less than what God is offering to us. I think about my own life and how there’s been the temptation to do just that. “I’m comfortable here, God, and even though you’re offering me something richer and deeper and fuller, I’m too content with what I’ve got to go where you’re calling me.” There have been times when God’s left me there, where contentment doesn’t last. And there have been times when God has moved me on despite me, and I’ve wondered later, when I can see the bigger picture, why I ever balked at all.
If we trust God, we can trust that what He wants for us and what He wills for us will always be for our greater good, even if it doesn’t appear that way. If His more for us means trials and troubles, His greater purpose is more of Himself. And if we hold back because we’re comfortable settling or because we fear the unknown, then we give up the riches that He has for us in knowing Him better.
May we never settle for too little when God is prepared to give us more of Himself…