I drove home from work at midnight and had to slow down for a cat sitting in the road near my house. The cat looked up at me, but did not move immediately like it should. It looked back at the road, preoccupied. I came to a stop and looked where the cat's attention was fixed. A grey bump on a grey road. Then it moved. A mouse! It was midnight, and I had nowhere to go fast, so I sat and watched. The cat ignored my headlights, keeping only half an ear twitching back at me, and chased its mouse. It caught it once, threw it up in the air, and then let it go again. Clearly having fun. The mouse... well, I don't suspect he enjoyed the game as much.
After some time, the cat and mouse game moved to the side of the road, and I drove on smiling. Then I thought. "I am like that mouse. I am being toyed with; a cat watching me. But, was I to drive on, the cat would have run, and the mouse would have been free. In reality, it was not the cat in the position of control and power there, but me in my big noisy vehicle with lights. There would be no battle of strength between me and cat. If I push down the gas, away will run cat.
There is someone watching this cat and mouse game I am living in, too. The cat is not as big and omnipotent as he thinks he is. There is a God who sees. And I went to bed smiling because I didn't feel so powerless.
Then I dreamed. I dreamed I was in a bus with much of our team. Our team leader was driving which makes me nervous. See, I like people who drive without having accidents, and our team leader has twice crashed our car in the few years we've known him. He's rather distractable driver. He was carrying on a conversation with the people seated behind him, and kept turning completely around in his seat to talk to them. I mentioned twice that, "Hey, watch out. The road is up there!", but he would only look forward, and bring the bus back on the road, and continue turning around to talk. He turned and looked at me and said, "It is really all about relationships, you know, haven't you learned that? Don't be so hung up with staying on the road. Relationships are more important."
This cycled through a few more times with the bus wheel veering close to the edge of the cliff on the side of the road, before I finally stood up. I walked up to the front and told him to stop driving - that as important as relationships are, there will be no relationships if we go off the edge of the cliff and die. Not angrily, but just very matter of fact. Let me drive and you talk.
Then I woke up in the stillness. I've been waiting and waiting for things to be done in our family life. Waiting. At first it was "wait until we get there". Then, "Wait until the team is settled." Then, "Wait until we get this project done - it is very important, and you wouldn't want to stop it." Or "Really, are you going to let your personal problems stand in the way of people hearing the word.... getting a bible in their language.... being discipled.... if you shame him, then he will not be able to minister, you don't want to stop all that we are doing, do you?"
Always being told relationships and projects were the important thing - as long as it was not my relationship with my husband or his with the kids. But if the bus crashes....