The Golden Egg

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Once in a while God plucks a memory from the lowest drawer, the one containing our earliest recollections.

Once in a while, God pulls out forgotten memories, employing a past experience to meet a present needed reminder.

Once in a while, the eyes of my near-sighted heart are open enough to capture the memory, study it and know it's been brought back out for a reason.

The Memory.

It was Easter some year in the very early 1980's. I recall standing with my parents, along with hundreds of other parent's and their anticipatory children, on the expansive grassy knoll at Long's Park in Lancaster. I probably had on my bleach-white knee-socks and Buster Browns. I know I had a pastel plastic woven basket in my hand. The announcement came from the ampitheater, seemingly a mile away.

"Welcome to the {whatever year} Long's Park Easter Egg Hunt! As you can see there are hundreds of plastic eggs filled with candy all over the grounds. There is, however, ONLY ONE GOLDEN EGG. Whoever finds that golden egg should deliver it to us up front and we will give you a gift certificate to a local toy store for {what I remember as being a million dollars}. When the whistle blows, you can start collecting your eggs! Are you ready!? {Hundreds of tiny, sugar-hungry squeals} On your MARK. Get SET. GO!!!!"

The whistle blew and hundreds of tiny  hands grabbed eggs of yellow, green, blue and pink. But not mine.
Nay, I darted like a rabbit on speed all over kingdom come, my big brown eyes roving the landscape for a fleck of gold bounced off the sun. I panted as I zipped in between trees, scanned the underbrush and zoomed in on spaces I thought no one had been.

I snapped out of my furious search when, several moments later, the announcer stepped back up to the mic to announce the golden egg had been found. And it wasn't me.

Walking back to my parents, dejected and forlorn, I remember my mom's astonished expression at my empty basket. There had been HUNDREDS of plastic eggs, enough for all of the children to have an overflowing basket. But mine had none. Not a one.

"All I wanted was the golden egg".

They belted me in the back of their car (no five-point harness to be had. Just a simple strip of sturdy cloth, and somehow I survived), and I cried me a river the whole way home.

The Present.

It's been two weeks that God's been pushing this file back to the forefront. I finally decided to earnestly reopen and linger on it.  When I did, I knew why it was brought back out for me.

I've been expending my mental energy racing around, searching for the golden egg that will bring me purpose, fulfill my dreams, use my gifts, earn me a living, applaud my (albeit limited) talents. Daily I'm surrounded by scenes of women who are racing past me, who have seemingly found their life's purpose and are thriving in the use of their obvious talents. I've been discounting the daily, stepping over the ordinary in pursuit of an empty, elusive grand prize. My human nature whispers one of two lies when I'm in the midst of the hunt for purpose. Either it's:

"She's/They've found the golden egg I wanted. Game over". 

OR (far more often)

"Just wait. You're not time isn't yet. Hold tight. Keep the home fires burning, do what is expected and just try enduring the challenges you're facing raising your strong willed child(ren). If you can just race pass all of that, THEN you'll probably find it. So don't waste your time looking around now. Let it come to you down the road."

As I considered these false conclusions, it became clear the reason this file was pulled: To remind me I've been down this road before and it yielded nothing but an empty basket and a bushel of tears.

Here's the thing:

Wherever I am at, there's an egg at my feet, waiting to be picked up and not stepped over. It might look like all the rest, but it's not. It is meant for me and it's meant to be opened.

No matter how random/thankless/mundane/temporary/inconsequential/AVERAGE/painful/
expected/simple/challenging it may appear to be, if I pry it open, God in His good time, will uncover a nugget of gold nestled deep within for me to add to my awareness of what He's made me for. As I keep walking, slowly but surely, I'll pick up other mostly unremarkable eggs along the way, each pertaining their own weight in gold...and eventually, when my time on this side of Heaven is complete, I'll have an imperfect, but solid golden egg.

The not-so-secret is these nuggets are rarely laid out in the open or nestled among popular opinion, bestselling pages or staged platforms. They aren't prizes to be won, they are gradual rewards for seeking and finding, especially when it's just God watching. They are nestled deep down in daily relationships and personal encounters...both those between God and I and the people He's placed in my life to love, whether as a mother or a stranger, a neighbor or a customer, a friend or a foe.

The truth is, no matter where we are at or how hopeless or haphazard it feels, there is a little piece of a golden egg at our feet, a nugget of great value waiting to be added to our understanding who we are, not what we do or have to prove.

All that's required is simply picking it up and trusting it is more than enough for now.


Debbie said…
Bravo. This was a better lesson for this 61 year old (and everyone else) than was preached in most pulpits today, and would yield far more fruit. I'm thankful that you shared this.
Have a great Sunday!
I just wrote about something similar this week. I know many (or most) women struggle with finding our passion and calling, at least intermittently throughout the years. But it was the message of a teenage girl, this past Sunday, that reminded me that we should be searching more for God and less for our own purpose. She said that instead of asking what our purpose is, we should be asking what His purpose is.

This might not be exactly what you were thinking, but it's what your post reminded me of.

Have a great week :)
Judy said…
What a great lesson you have learned.
One of those seemingly unimportant plastic eggs just might contain a much bigger and better prize then the Golden Egg. Appreciate ALL in the "now". The Golden Egg will come or you may find, as you age, you don't want it after all.
It's been tooooo long since I visited here, but what a post to come back to! :) I'm righttherewithyou, sister. THIS is why I get so wearily frustrated with all the "who am I?" 'Bible' studies and 'gifts' assessments and so on. My passion must be God - HE alone is my 'golden egg' and all the other stuff I chase after and search for is 'vanity, vanity, a chasing after the wind' to use the words of someone who surely knew.

So basically, what Debbie Slaughter ^^^ said. Plus faithfulness in the small things (which is I think what you were saying).

It's not about us and the fame we win, or deserve to win (or don't!). It's about a 'long obedience in the same direction.'

Glad I popped in. Off to search for your email signup.....

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