It was a warm summer night and the end of my week-long visit to Matt in Montana. I was so ticked. Twelve hours I drove from Wyoming to visit him, with sure confidence of receiving an engagement ring during the week. My hopes were crushed during an afternoon stroll through a pawn shop, though, when we casually looked at wedding rings and he said, "When I get you a ring it won't look like that." Hmmph. On our last night together he took me for dinner, but the poor man had yet to learn the ways of a woman who has waited too long to eat. Not knowing my engagement ring was tucked in his pocket, I made him stop at a gas station to get me a snack. Now he was ticked. Despite that rough start to our evening, at the top of a ski slope overlooking the Flathead Valley, he proposed.
And then I was useless. After three eternally long years of dating I finally had a ring. And I couldn't see anything else. I went back to work at the grocery store in Wyoming and scanned soup --aah, my ring --scanned broccoli --aah, my ring --scanned deli meat ---aah, my ring. When you finally get what you've always wanted it makes you smile when you shouldn't be smiling.
It's happening more frequently. Bouts of incapacitating joy. It comes immediately after I've done something that I know makes God happy. And that makes me happy. Bill Hybels says it's "sensing God's smile on your life" when you've been obedient. In the last 24 hours I somehow managed to do several things in a row that I know are exactly what pleases God. And I was useless all day. I kept finding myself staring off into space, reliving my moments of obedience, the same way I stared at my engagement ring and tried to relive over and over the moment when Matt opened the little velvet box.