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Monday, March 25, 2013

For Convenience's Sake



This just isn’t working for me.

It is the end of March, five days into spring, and it is snowing.  Pretty hard.  The kids had school today as usual, because it didn’t get this bad until they were already on their way.  At the moment I am waiting for the phone call from the school district announcing that the school day has been shortened and they will be coming home soon.

I am not into that at all.

It is a school day.  My schedule is set.  I have grocery shopping to do, errands to run, yoga class to attend, and all the laundry to finish.  Plus I have to cook an early dinner because of our evening activities.

This snow is going to screw it all up.

I am a routine-a-holic: I crave it.  I’m not a long-term planner, but each day has a schedule and I want to stick to it.  When I can’t and I get backed up and to-dos pile up, I can’t deal.

Well, I can deal, but it puts me out a little.

I don’t want it to snow; I need to be out on the roads, and I doing like driving in this weather.  I don’t want my kids to come home from school early; if they do then they most likely will be coming home at a time when I have stuff to do.  Plus, when they get here, I’ll be on Mom duty and I have my own needs to attend to.

As we get older we discover things about ourselves that may not correspond with our previously held self-views.  You may think you love drinking coffee because you consume ten cups of it a day, and then one day you realize that you only love the creamer you put in your coffee.  You may think you love horror movies because you’ve been watching them for ten years with your husband, and then one day you realize that you have never watched one by yourself and that you actually hate horror movies.

Or if you’re like me, you spend half your life thinking of yourself as a free-wheeling, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl and then one day you become conscious of the fact that you hate being inconvenienced and you resent your life being interrupted.

Then you have to consider: do I stay this way, or do I change?  For me, because I'm riddled with iniquity, usually the right thing to do is to make a change.

If it’s an easy fix, I feel lucky.  Some changes are easier than others.  But others may take some time, and that time in the change can be painful.  The realization that I hate being interrupted is easy to see, but it is difficult to change.  How can I change this part of me that seems to be such a chief part of my personality?  How can I give up caring about schedules and routine if I see them as the key to my sanity?

Yes, yes.  I can take a deep breath and relax.  I can stop being so selfish – much to my own dismay and in spite of my delusions, I am not a princess.  I can still do all my planned activities; they just might take a little longer than usual.  Or, before I do any of those things, I can pray.

God made me to enjoy order, but I took it further and became a routine junkie.  I can give this part of myself to God. I can ask him for peace in the chaos that swirls through my mind.  I can ask him for patience with myself, forgiveness for my unease with his plan, and cast my semblance of control to him.   He will change my heart, if it is his intention, and if I truly want to change.

In the meantime, I can look out the window and appreciate this beautiful scene that he gave us – after all, I might not see it for months again after today.  I can pray for the well-being of those who are on the roads.  I can thank God for the blessings her gave me in the form of my home, my family, my health, and really, nothing that HAS to be done today.

But I can ask for a full day of school for my kids too, can’t I?

*******

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:21-24 (NLT)

4 comments:

  1. It is the false logic that you are in control of anything, and you are what is important that shows up here. Go on a mission trip to a foriegn country, you will quickly learn what not being in control and being flexible are all about...

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    1. You are right; I know that what I want is not the center of God's plan, but that doesn't keep me from forgetting the bigger picture sometimes. Mission trips, sudden illness, a broken-down vehicle, parenting - all of these things set us straight and help us learn that we are not in control. I'm willing to admit that I'm not always okay with it. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. How's this for a comment from the flip side...

    On Monday, the forecast tempted me to plan my workday according to the likely possibility that the students would be sent home and I would gain blessed work time with them out of the building. Alas, the snow amounted to exactly nothing here and the end result was a building full of whiny kids and bitter teachers.

    Moral of the story? His ways are not our ways...

    Isaiah 55:8-9

    8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
    declares the Lord.
    9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    ...but it's still all too easy to think that we have any power to decide. And it's completely human to be unhappy about the fact that we don't.

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    1. It's funny - the minute I start thinking that I have that power to decide how things are going to turn out is the exact minute that God shows me that I don't.

      Great choice of scripture - I need to focus on this when my instant reaction is to complain.

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