Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Unpack the Bags

There's a saying in my house. Since it's really just me and Nelson most of the time, I am the one who uses the phrase. (I actually fear the day Nelson, or one of my "dormant" plants actually starts speaking.)

It can happen at any point, any room, or any time.
"Ohhhhh, Nelson." Typically followed up with a sigh (on my part again).

Nelson, my nine month old cat is very adept at finding himself in precarious situations.
"He'll learn, Stephanie," some might say.  Sometimes, though, I sit back and watch and I wonder if he truly will learn. On top of that, sometimes his actions result in consequences for others- not just himself. Unfortunately, my plant loves know that all too well. (Still holding out hope for some springtime growth. Don't give up on me Blanche!)

How can I truly blame him, my nine month old cat, when I, the grown up, the responsible adult, manages to find myself in dangerous situations. Situations that are treacherous to my mind and body. I could list them here, and most who would be honest would probably find at least one of them to be applicable to his or her own life. Or maybe you have your own list, with your own precarious cliffs.

Over the last eleven months I have come face to face with my own perilous condition.
There is one major shortcoming that I cannot seem to discard and leave it where it belongs- in the trash. Instead, I pack up this particular foible in one of my bags, between my Kindle and HGTV magazine, and I set off into the day.

This weekend left me tired. More exhausted in mind, but it translated into bodily exhaustion (new word find one). This afternoon as I contemplated what life over the next three months would look like, I realized once again I was beginning to worry. Not actually just begin, but set up a dwelling; and actually, it is more of a city.

When this reality struck me,  I was about knocked over with another realization immediately after that.

What is it that causes me to stop in my tracks?
My old frenemy- Worry.
Whenever I do get caught up in worry, I imagine God responding much like I do to Nelson.
"Ohhh, Stephanie."

God looks for us to have enjoyment in life. He gifts us with different talents and abilities. Even more so He rewards hard work. We know practice makes perfect. Unfotunately, I wouldn't even be able to claim a gold medal under worry, (despite the hours of time I spend "practicing"), basically because I'm no good at it.

If God had wanted me to be a worrier, he would have equipped me to be able to use it for some good. With my worry I would remove creases and wrinkles. Sickness? Gone would be gone because of the power of my worry. If God had wanted us to worry, I truly believe it would be because it would bring us to a desired ending. Instead, worry brings pain, creases in foreheads, frowns, restless sleep.

What should I do instead? Aside from painting, cleaning, laundry-ing, playing, (sleeping), there are a gamut of fun activities, and ultimately more productive. The worry that I pack in my bag each morning, I need to toss out, and leave behind.

This week God has reminded me of a couple of things.
Instead of worrying:

Look Up- Pray. Of course, I pray. But what about pray. What about pouring out my heart, saying what God already knows, but saying it anyways? Not enough. I suffer when I forget to look up and spend time really praying. Maybe the desired outcome was not reached? I've seen that. I've been disappointed and heartbroken more than I can explain at times. But, sleep in peace? Yes, when life made no sense, and my heart was aching, God breathed a calmness and surrounded me.  Who has seen someone recover? I have. Was it due to the doctors? Sure. But I believe that God gives wisdom to doctors. Who has known someone in need of true healing, die, and leave us? I have. I have grieved. I still grieve many losses. But who provides the hope that I can see them again? God. When we pray, we are looking to God, and He does always answer. Sometimes with a no, or a later. Sometimes with a yes. However, when we truly pray, he does provide us with peace that is transcendent beyond what we can imagine or hope for....

Look In- Sometimes what I see is UGLY. I'm not just talking about bed head. (Believe me, I can really sport crazy hair, even without having gone to sleep.) What do my insides (my guts) really show? When I worry, what I am displaying, if not pride.  Pride says that only I can take care of this situation, no one else. I do that a lot. I have to rid myself of that destructive behavior; it can only take me down.

Look Around- I become self-centered. Without meaning too, I do. I shut down and close people out. While things feel difficult I forget that others are out there with arms needing to keep busy, and who want to help. Folks who want to pray as well. When I stop focusing on me me me me me, and I look around and then move into action, I am making a difference. I am doing.

I heard something, and behind it was a message that I find resonating everywhere with as of late.  Why do I accept conditions of (unhappiness) instead of accepting that God has better for me. Better than worry.  He does not have a cure-all pill. We do live in a world of heartache and pain, and sin. I do not have to accept that as my own story. I have  a different ending already written for me.

Just a little somethin' to think about,


Rita said...

So true

Rita said...

Did you get your computer adapter?