Several years ago, a young man asked me on a date to the Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs, California. It didn’t sound all that exciting, but he was very much into cacti, so I agreed to go along.
It was a nice day for a walk, even an extended walk through the desert. But after I paused to read an inscription under a statue, I turned around to discover my date had disappeared.
Gone. Vanished. Vamoosed.
Stunned, I glanced around. He was nowhere in sight. Had he said he was going to the restroom, and I hadn’t heard him? I sat down on a bench in the shade and waited.
Half an hour passed, my anxiety rising. I was a good 85 miles from home. I had no car, no transportation, no way of getting home. What could I do but wait?
Eventually I caught sight of my date in the distance. I ran up to him, frantic. “Where’d you go?” I asked.
His initial reaction was shock. That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks: he had forgotten I was with him. He had forgotten he was on a date. He had forgotten I had spent over an hour getting there with him in his car. I had totally slipped out of his mind, as though I did not exist.
Gosh, what a way to make a girl feel special.
I stuck to him like glue the rest of the day. I was afraid to let him out of my sight. He wanted to shop at a nursery on the way home and buy some cacti. I waited in the car, despite the sweltering heat. What if he again forgot I was with him and he abandoned me there?
By then it was getting late. We stopped for dinner. Gazing over the top of the menu he said, “You are paying for your own meal, right?”
Yup, feeling really special.
A few days later he offered to make dinner for us. Perhaps that was an attempt to make it up to me.
Dinner was grape jelly spread on stale tortillas.
He couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to see him anymore. He also couldn’t understand, he told me, why girls kept breaking up with him.
I think you probably have no trouble figuring out why.
But here’s the point: how often have we treated God this way? Totally forgotten Him, acted like He doesn’t exist. Forgotten we have a relationship with Him. Forgotten He created us. Acted like being with Him was no big deal.
And then, when trying to make it up to Him, how poor and pathetic have our attempts sometimes been?
Patience, we are told, is a virtue. I’m grateful God obviously has infinitely greater patience than I do, because He not only waited for me but went searching for His little lost sheep to bring her back.
He didn’t break up with me.
And that actually is a way to make a girl feel special.