Sunday, January 31, 2010
Laziness, Laundry, Logs, etc.
I spent some weeks at the end of last year a little disgusted with some of my friends. Just saddened, deeply saddened, as I noticed that most of our interaction revolved around various permutations of complaints, especially complaints of being busy, stressed-out, overwhelmed. My first reaction was to be not only sad, but annoyed and angry that they would go by the name of Christian but have so little cognizance that our time, our days, our minutes, are all His.
I understand forgetting that. I understand confusion as we bring our time and our chores to God and say, 'Lord, how will all this get done? What here does not belong on the list, because clearly there is not enough time to do this?" I understand God somehow magnifying our time, creating unexpected pockets of time. I understand God revealing that certain things on the list do not belong there, are our agenda and not His. And I understand needing to be reminded of this perspective.
But what I didn't understand, what saddened me, was that these ideas were completely absent from the conversations, even from their thoughts. I was grieved as I realized that any conversation along those lines just didn't fit in, was a wet blanket, resulted in blank stares and maybe an awkward, embarrassed concurrence.
There are Christian heroes from the past that I envision spending hours on their knees every day – George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor. I picture that they had the mammoth discipline to arise early while it was still dark, to meditate on the Word and pray, committing all the details of their day to God, leaving their place of pray glowing with holiness from their lofty meditations.
I don't have that. I am rank with human-ness. But I do commit my way to the Lord. I do ask Him what He would have me do, and how He would have me do it. And if it seems undoable, I do ask Him for help or direction. I think I do. I probably do less than I'm giving myself credit for, but certainly if I'm stressed or in a bind, He's the place I go. And it's not because I'm so holy – it's only because I know He's there to ask for help. If my work is His, where else is there to go?
What I have realized is that for me, and I don't know that others share this inclination, but when I am feeling stressed about my chores, often it's not that I don't know when it will all get done – it's that I don't really want to do something on that list. There is something or more than one thing on that list that I am feeling rebellious about doing. So I need to talk to God about that, confess my rebellion over what He's asked me to do that I'm giving Him a hard time about, and ask His help to do it anyway.
For me today it is laundry and FAFSA – that nasty financial aid form everyone has to fill out. (I don't think it will amount to anything, but with two in college next year and with T's work not going too well, it would only be laziness to not at least fill the thing out.) But let me at least call it what it is. I don't want to tackle the mountain of laundry, and even more, I do not want to fill out that form. This is not about not having time. I'm rebellious. I'm just being a brat and I need to repent and get it over with.
Christmas can bring a lot of this on. There are parts of Christmas work that I do like. I do like to cook and bake, but I hate grocery shopping. I like to buy gifts and wrap them, but I hate decorating and putting up the Christmas tree. And then taking the tree and decorations down – oy! It's salt in the wound! I hated putting the things up, and now I have to take them all down and get all those ridiculous ditties and knick-knacks safely tucked away again, just so they can live to annoy me again next year!!!! I can really cop an attitude, for even weeks at a time while I procrastinate!
But please. Let's call it what it is. It is just rebellion. It's not being too busy. It is a part of the job assigned to me by God. I can take all my crabbiness out on my family, but He's the one telling me to do it and He's the one I'm grouchy with if I decide to cop that attitude, or get depressed, or get mad at T, or eat cookies, or whatever other form my rebellious squirming might take.
Well, I have more to say about this. Actually I haven't even gotten to my point here yet, but I am feeling the need to get up and start a load of laundry. I'll post Part II later tonight I hope, because what I'm really getting at here is God's sense of humor, that if I'm going to remark about the speck in my friends' eyes, I should have guessed He would require that I take the log out of my own eye. I've been learning all about that. Oy!