Is God Waiting by Your Cereal Bowl?

cereal-898073_640I expend an awful lot of energy trying not to be human.

Is this ever a problem for you?

There is always so much in life to do. I mean, it’s right there in front of us all, isn’t it?

Jobs, goals, ministries, visions, dreams, passions, callings. These glorious God-ordained pursuits seem to be in constant tension with the other things sitting right in front of us:

Dirty dishes, the bathroom scale, a nagging cough, a spouse’s worries, the postponed date with a friend.

Those things are so common, so everyday, so mundane. No one will ever give a testimony about how seeing me wash my own dishes spoke to them about the nature of Jesus Christ or about how knowing that I watch what I eat gave them a glimpse of heaven.

I doubt that I’ll ever give an interview about how keeping my doctor and dental appointments were key to publishing my first novel or that sitting and listening to my husband or friend or one of my children was the secret to blogging success.

It was easier when my children were small to see the hand of God in the everyday. Caring for them provided ample opportunity to see a spark of the divine in the mundane.

How quickly I’ve lost that.

Somehow, once they were grown, I became easy prey for the lie of this world that NOW I was free to pursue GREAT things and it was now my DUTY to exert a full-court press to ACHIEVE.

Somehow this week, in between my full-time job and writing at either ends of the day along with the basic care and feeding of my husband and adult kids, I realized I’m doing a lousy job of taking care of myself. Plus, I’ve lost the joy of serving others (just ask the others, they’ll testify to that). Where it used to feel like a calling, now it just feels like an interruption. That’s not cool.

I’m not eating right. I don’t move enough. I’m not laughing very often or taking time to keep appointments. If I do take time to watch a movie, I don’t enjoy it – either checking my laptop occasionally through it or falling asleep in the middle.

I don’t take lunch at work because, you know, I’m so IMPORTANT. And even my prayer life is driven because apparently, I KEEP THE WORLD SPINNING through my requests to the Almighty.

See how far off I’ve gotten? Does this ever happen to you?

Then, last night, I watched a movie called The Big Year. It’s about birding and three men in pursuit of seeing the most species of bird in one year. (It stars three of my favorite funny men –Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson.)

That’s the story, but really what the movie was about is the choices we make along the way to achieving our big dreams. What do we interrupt our journey to do? What will we ignore? What sacrifices are we willing or not willing to make?

The flick illustrated how hard it is to make good choices. The movie isn’t a road map for life but just a light way of God reminding me that, while on earth we reward the end results – heaven keeps track of the choices we make along the way.

So, today I suddenly remember that God is there by my breakfast bowl. I’ve seen Him in doctor’s waiting rooms and there have been times when the laundry room has become a holy place because of His presence there. He is no more willing to be present with me when I am at my keyboard or sitting with a family in crisis than He is when I’m listening to my husband discuss his plans for remodeling or taking a walk on a sunny day.

In pursuit of God’s plan for our lives, we must often make sacrifices but we don’t get to pretend we aren’t human without falling apart at some point along the way.

God rejects my sin but He doesn’t reject my humanity. He designed me with a need for sleep, food, movement, laughter, companionship, and daily maintenance. Psalm 127:2 ESV says this: It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”

He knows we are hobbits and He takes us on adventures anyway. But He knows that there is a point when every hobbit needs a meal, a pipe, a song, and a good rest.

How about you? Are you due for some laughter? Is your scale sending you a message? Are you smiling at the subjects of your ministry but scowling and resenting those you serve in your own home? Are achieving your goals but missing your calling?

Why not embrace your own humanity today? Ask God to open your eyes to the moments you’re missing and the choices you could be making along the way.

Rest and recreate today, loved ones. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!


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4 Comments

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  1. “I’m not eating right. I don’t move enough. I’m not laughing very often or taking time to keep appointments. If I do take time to watch a movie, I don’t enjoy it – either checking my laptop occasionally through it or falling asleep in the middle.”

    Ouch. Me, too.

    “…you know, I’m so IMPORTANT. And even my prayer life is driven because apparently, I KEEP THE WORLD SPINNING through my requests to the Almighty.”

    Double ouch. Me, too.

    Thanks for reminding me that it’s not all about me. It’s not even all about my ministry, as important and valuable as I see it.

    I’m taking a deep breath…and getting up from this chair to spend some time with my hubby after a week away from him.

    And I’m asking God to take the picture of the To-Do list and email Inbox out of my mind.

  2. On Jan 22nd, 2004 a lot of what you said in your writing became instantly and painfully clear to me. Having been technically gone and bought back, my perspective changed a lot. I had to sell my truck and trailer, and go from big bucks, to no bucks. I always felt I was in God’s will traveling around the country sharing His Word and helping people I met along the way. Scripture all over my truck for the world to see. Suddenly it became clear to me. I was so busy pursuing God and what I thought he wanted. I did not have time “for” God. Now I have my whole life to follow God. Sometimes where “we think” he is leading us is not quite what he has in mind. Being open, willing to listen and “available” will open doors we have never contemplated. Since a certain writing conference that has been made more clear to me than I ever dreamed. It is far more of a story than I can share here, but I will on my blog soon, Lord willing, will see ya’all next year.

  3. Great post. Thanks!

  4. So true. Keeping our perspective at times can be an uphill battle. Thanks for the reminder 🙂 Angie