Monday, July 29, 2013

Of Rocket Stoves and Asking Why

I am now the “proud” owner of a rocket stove.

I never wanted a rocket stove. I’d never heard of a rocket stove. (Have you?) I have no idea how to use a rocket stove.

I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t really want it.

But I’m now the owner of a rocket stove.

A one hundred and fifty dollar rocket stove.

The day started out innocently enough. A friend and I went to a class on outdoor cooking methods. I was there for the potluck and friends. Not that I cared too much about outdoor cooking.

They had a drawing for a free rocket stove, and all thirty of us entered.

In all my life, I’ve won two drawings – a fake flower arrangement and duck eggs.  I figured I wasn’t at risk of winning the rocket stove.

I won the rocket stove.

The only person there who didn’t want the rocket stove.

It was one of those moments when I found myself asking:
Why me? . . . I didn’t want this!”

Why this?  . . . This isn’t what I’ve been asking for.”

Why now? . . . I have no idea what I’m going to do with it.”

For some reason, I was supposed to win the rocket stove.

And I have no idea why.

My free $150 rocket stove

Often life is this baffling.

You have something in mind when you pray.
God answers differently.

You have expectations about life. 
God orchestrates life opposite to those expectations.

There are things you don’t really want out of life.
                 God chooses those things for you.

And you wonder why.

Why me?
Why this?
Why now?

We busy ourselves with the why’s, because life doesn’t always go as planned.

Despite my why's, I’ve decided I’m going to learn how to use my rocket stove.
It might come in handy.
It might be fun.

I do know . . . it’s a gift. 
Something I’m supposed to have.
Something I’m supposed to enjoy.

Something I would have wanted, if I knew how nice it will be to have one.

And life’s the same way.

I may never know why He answers certain ways; why He gives or allows certain things; why He chooses the timing He chooses.

Just like I’ll never know why He even cares about my little life.

But He does. 

And, that’s reason enough to accept all He chooses – the wanted and the unwanted.

When I use my stove for the first time, I’m going to know why all those people wanted one.

And if I had God’s perspective on my life, I’d choose everything He’s choosing for me.

Because life isn’t a drop-your-name-in-a-basket-and-risk-it type of existence.

Life is our name written on hands that are loving, wise, and good.

The kind of hands that know how to turn all the why’s into wanted gifts.


  1. I loved this post, Bethany. A lesson in truth and a fun story to hear. Enjoy your rocket stove! :-)

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. Hopefully, I'm not going to find out the hard way why it's called a rocket stove. :-)