When you cook and then wash dishes for a huge extended family, you find that as soon as you’re certain you’re finished, you find a dirty pot there and a stray glass here. Worse, you clean one side of the kitchen only to turn around and remember all the dirty pans on the stove behind you.
It’s an old joke around here that the one washing dishes always asked, “Can I turn around yet?” If the others called out, “No!” it meant that the stove side wasn’t clean and they had more dishes to bring to the sink.
We often preempt the question, “Can I turn around yet?” by just saying, “Don’t turn around yet!” It’s our funny way of protecting the dishwasher from the discouragement of a whole collection of dirty dishes we haven’t brought to the sink yet.
Today I thought about all the unfinished, unrealized parts of my life, and I let myself think about even sadder things. I imagined God’s voice saying, “Don’t turn around yet.” I laughed just like the grandmas in the kitchen do. I know that there’s so much God protects me from seeing and knowing. I stay focused on the task and hand and wait for the all-clear to turn around and see the clean, finished thing behind my back.