“I don’t think I like the adult world,” I said pretty often in my twenties. All you need is some church squabble to make you see just how juvenile (other (ahem))people can be. I said it when we had tough decisions to make. And I even said it when there were relationship difficulties. Like maybe if I didn’t like it, I could just bow out and pretend that there isn’t this issue that I need to face. Once I gave birth to a child, it turned into, “Ohhh, I don’t want to be the mother today.” The early rising baby who was hungry must have had it in for me, the sleep loving, definitely-not-morning-person. I kept track of the hours I didn’t get to sleep, and I kind of resented them. I even admit one day figuring out how many snaps I had done in his little diaper-filling lifetime. Silly, isn’t it? I didn’t want to be the mother either when there were sibling squabbles a few children later, and I certainly didn’t want to be the mother when the worst grape juice spill in history occurred in my house.
Gradually it dawned on me how ridiculous this little inner protest was. Just grow up, already! My children have been mightily used by God to help me not be quite so self centered, although I still can’t believe the depths of selfishness in my heart some days. It just so happens that for me, having my hands full consists of childcare. For some it is the seniors in the care home, for others it is a hospital full of patients, or a classroom full of students. Some have employees depending on them for a paycheck, or customers who are always right, or needy neighbors, or hurting church members. I am sure I missed a few. 🙂
All of us have situations where we have to rise to the challenges and pick up the slack and do more than our share. Let me just break it to you, nice and easy… That’s how it’s supposed to be. There really is no point in trying to avoid it, unless we want to “stagnate”, as the psychologists say. It doesn’t even always feel noble. Sometimes it feels unappreciated, unnoticed, taken-advantage-of, just burying the contents of the toilet bucket.
What to do when life gets so much bigger than I anticipated? Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Mt.5:3 I think these are the people who recognize their own abysmal lack of skills for the task at hand. They see their own poverty and inability to meet the needs, and they come to God, begging for the supply they need. Then they put their two pennies into the offering and believe that He will use them. And they find all the resources of the kingdom of heaven at their disposal!
I think the poor in spirit have their hands full, yes, but they don’t fight it as a state too constricting, too sacrificial. They accept the summons to lose their lives for others and in the end they find their lives again, much richer and fuller than they imagined they could be.
(Just a little postscript: I hate that my links show up light blue. I can’t seem to figure out how to change it. Also, I have no choice of fonts on this template, so I resort to bold italics to make a point. 😛 )