I know it isn’t Hebrew or Greek, but it’s still a word I’ve been thinking on even today. Have you ever met one of those “Ms. Put-Together”s? You know who I am talking about– the woman sitting in church in front of you who is always perfectly dressed, sings a smooth soprano and always has her trimmed and polished husband and toothless little girl in tow. Maybe that’s not specifically what your “Ms. Put-Together” looks like, but we all have one!
We all have that person who seems to go through life seamlessly. When life hands lemons, forget lemonade– there’s a lemon meringue pie in the works with a perfect fluffy meringue topping. Meanwhile, here you are still trying to catch what’s being thrown at you!
There is something so majestic about an eagle in flight. We saw one the other day as we walked a local trail. The beauty of it is almost breathtaking. It’s regal, almost, to watch this pride of the sky just effortlessly soar through the air. How I wish I could fly like that, just feel the air under my wings and just soar.
I’m guilty of the tendency to view others the way I viewed that eagle. I get enamored by “Miss Put-Together”s and “Miss Independent”s all the time. I stare in amazement at their lives and soon find myself looking at mine and fighting back overwhelming feelings of contempt and discontentment.
That’s a dangerzone for us as women. Whenever we let our heart go longing, even if it is after non-sexual things, we open the door up to that need again. We have experience. We know that, while only temporary, our sin will make us feel good about ourselves. After all, that’s what is important, right? Feeling good about ourselves.
Not so much.
Women are very likely to fall when life gets stressful because, let’s face it, sex is stress relieving and there are a number of different options I have to achieve that relief without the added complexities of a husband! Who needs that stress?
But when it’s all said and done, my life hasn’t changed. My circumstances haven’t changed. In fact, if anything, I’ve just made them worse. So, there has to be another solution. There is! We wait on the Lord.
When life is flying by, it can be hard to process that word– wait. We don’t even have time to wait for our Grande Chai Latte with two pumps of pumpkin spice, and heaven forbid there be traffic. Doesn’t the rest of the world know we have places to go and things to do?! Waiting is just not our thing.
I looked at my agenda for the rest of this week and, as it is, I had to double book breathing and driving! There is no way I have time to wait for God on anything much less the strength I need to fight sin or the grace I need to get through today. No thank you! Please deep fry that and put it in a doggie bag, I’ll warm it up later!
But there was a moment today. Somehow, in the middle of all of this chaos, I found a quiet moment to rest, and in that moment, as I thought about how unfair it was that I had to rearrange my life to fit the needs of other, I thought of that eagle. I thought of the passage in Isaiah that talks about how God restores the strength of those who wait on Him. I thought of the call Jesus gives us to take on his yoke because His burden is light.
How on earth is God’s burden light?!
Maybe because His priorities just aren’t ours. God is not overly concerned with what I’m going to say to my replacement this afternoon or what my shopping list looks like. He is not overly concerned with the fact that I double-booked myself two days in a row.
God’s agenda for my life is rather short: Love Him. Love people. Let Him work.
I will gladly trade in my pile of sticky notes and to-do lists for that one. I will gladly accept that burden at the expense of all of these.
Why does that matter? Why share that here? Because it applies to our spiritual to-do list too. For many of us, we have this list stored up in our hearts that looks something like this: “Day #72 Free from Pornography. To-do: 1)Use the computer to check my e-mail but only for 10 minutes because any longer could cause trouble. 2) Ask God for forgiveness for masturbating last night. 3) Think no evil thought….”
The list goes on. The bad thing is, it becomes our new Bible. So, when we stay on the computer to chat with a friend or to check Facebook, we act as if we’ve broken one of the Ten Commandments, even if we didn’t fall to pornography! We make this journey of Freedom less like the majestic soar of an eagle and more like the journey of a 300 year old sea turtle- slow, heavy, awkward and ultimately unproductive.
We can become stressed by all of the minute details of what we expect our spirituality to look like. We can work so hard at protecting ourselves and guarding this and that and the other that we just crumble underneath the pressure. It becomes too much.