There is always so much 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 stand in constant tension with other concerns looming in front of us: dirty dishes, the bathroom scale, a nagging cough, a spouse’s worries, the postponed date with a friend.
But, those common, every day, mundane items on our attention list have little sparkle. No one is likely to 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, a friend, or one of my children was the secret to blogging success.
Somehow, it was easier when my children were small to see the hand of God in the everyday. Caring for them provide
d 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.
Recently, in between my full-time job and writing at either ends of the day along with the basic care and feeding of my loved ones, I realized I’m doing a lousy job of taking care of myself (again). 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. Totally, my bad.
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 start 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, I remembered 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.
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 r
eminding me that, while on earth we reward the results – heaven tracks the choices we make along the way.
So, today I suddenly remember that God is there by my breakfast bowl. I’ve spotted 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’s not stalking me, or waiting to nag, or pounce on me with some great task. He’s just crazy about doing this life WITH us. Beside us. Aware of us, and us aware of Him. That’s our God who is WITH.
He’s no more willing to be present with me when I’m 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 work hard and 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.”
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?
I invite you to 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.
For me, I’ll continue to embrace a weekly day of rest, but now, I’ll also seize the moments of rest God frequently disguises as interruptions woven into the everyday. I’ll pay attention to opportunities I have to snatch joy, to catch God’s eye, to exhale, to remember my body is a gift to be appreciated – not a weight to drag around, and to simmer in the slow cooker of God’s presence.
Maybe He’s waiting for you just over by the sink.
— Lori Roeleveld (@lorisroeleveld) June 24, 2017