The Disappointing Futon
I want to tell you a true story. A story about excitement, hard work and fulfillment that ended up flipping over on itself and becoming an inconvenient discouragement and let down. Ladies and gentlemen, "The Disapointing Futon".
A couple years ago one of my best friends visited for the weekend. He wanted to record a few covers of love songs as an anniversary present for his wife. I was in the process of gradually investing in my studio, little by little. I had been looking for a reason to buy a futon so the room could dually function as a studio / spare bedroom. Normally I would research a bunch and investigate to find an affordable yet quality futon that would last a long time. But since my friend was visiting I had the perfect incentive to just simply go out and buy one. So we drove to Target (first mistake) and fairly quickly found a very affordable futon on sale. To top it off my friend had an extra discount from some random Target email he found. Key ingredient to this story: there was no display model. All we saw was the picture on the outside of the box... I think you know where this is going.
I felt very grateful and truly blessed waiting there in the Target checkout line. I thanked God. I typically look for confirmations on my purchases - that may sound crazy to you - but sometimes seeing God in the smallest mundane things reminds me that He cares for me.
We drove home excited and took the futon out of the box. It seemed rather small but I didn't think much of it. We read through the instructions and assembled it together.
I remember my heart sinking the moment after we put it together and my friend sat down on it. He looked like a giant. We tried to be optimistic. His knees were elevated. He was hunched over. The futon looked like it belonged in the movie Elf. He tried laying down on it and his feet dangled two feet off the edge.
All of a sudden this thing that I thanked God for providing for me, this blessing, it became a curse. To make it all worse the next day I had to disassemble it, re-box it and drive it back to Target - by myself. My friend had driven back to North Carolina. It was so stinking heavy (even though it was a mini-Futon, which makes no sense). I was so angry and bitter struggling to load it in my trunk. Then I felt ashamed of how angry and bitter I felt. I was a mess.
This really effected me for a couple days. "It's just a futon Brian!" I know. That’s what I was telling myself. But for some reason it made me feel so let down and abandoned. Sometimes seemingly small things can effect me in such a large way. It baffles me. I think the deeper reason I got so upset is that this experience triggered something deep down in my soul. I was in a season of trying really hard to move forward in a lot of areas but was experiencing resistance, disappointment and let downs. I felt like I wasn’t seeing the results of the work I was putting in. That’s where the song “Roll With the Punches” was birthed out of (not the futon, but the season).
I've found that there's typically a life lesson inside of the disappointment somewhere, if we can calm ourselves and listen, there's an opportunity to grow and gain wisdom from the experience. Here's a few things I learned from the disappointing futon.
1. Disappointments hurt, and they are a part of life. There's no hiding it. But they are also masked opportunities to seek a deeper relationship with a caring God and establish a faith that is not rooted in mere convenience and circumstance. As long as we're human (especially in America) we're going to be tempted to base our happiness in circumstances. But God loves us too much to not allow this false comfort to be disrupted in order to wake us up from our slumber inside of a fake reality.
2. There is an enemy trying to convince us that God cannot be trusted. We will be tested and tempted in this area. This is how Adam and Eve fell in the garden. He will try any way that he can to derail our trust, even if it's something as insignificant as a futon.
3. A false sense of entitlement will always lead to resentment and bitterness. I've established some misbeliefs about what I deserve and am entitled to based out of pride or just flat out misunderstanding. God is redeeming me from this mindset one day at a time.
What is your disappointing futon? What thing in your life was a source of excitement and joy that became a burden and pain? I would encourage you today to seek God's comfort and talk out loud about it with people you can trust. God cares about YOU and the things that you care about. I'm thankful that God cares more about my long term well being than my immediate superficial happiness. This is a very deep and complex subject and I feel like my brevity is doing it an injustice. But hopefully my experience, strength and hope can encourage you in some way today!