Two weeks ago, we heard in our Sunday morning gathering that we have three main enemies: The world, the flesh, the devil. But we know that there’s so much more to that. From the parable it reads, "The worries of life and the lure of wealth” can really drag us down. What also drags me down is the fear of my own insignificance.
I aim to put out more good in the world than bad, but I’m just one person. I worry that my little do-good actions are dwarfed by the inequity, injustice and terror of the world. My worries of life often are extended to lands far beyond my own home, city, state and country. The empathy that lives within me and makes me worry and cry and (let’s be real) breakdown is only good if I am able to channel it toward action. Unfortunately for me, this type of world worry and stress puts me into a state of depression and shuts me down; I lose all motivation and start thinking that I chose to bring my daughter into this horrible world and what was I thinking?…?!..!?…??? God throws his seed down to my soil and it’s so soaked and flooded with the deluge of my tears that the seeds rot and disintegrate. God is trying to reach me, but I’m too ensconced in my wretchedly uncomfortable comfort zone of worry. I’m forgetting something really important, and so insanely simple: Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”
You know I was raised in a home with a single mother who was always going, going, going. She was raised in a home with a mother who would scorn herself and others if they weren’t “productive enough” in a day; I grew up often hearing, “I didn’t accomplish anything today!” Which was always weird to me because I had seen her prepare meals and do laundry and put laundry away and go grocery shopping and make some family check-in calls, etc. From my child eyes perspective….she was accomplishing quite a bit. But see, that’s the thing…when we are raised that tasks are to be completed in order for you to deserve rest--there isn’t any time for peace, calm, for being still because those tasks just keep coming. We end up resenting the tasks, they wear us down, they make us feel exhausted and empty. My mom was raised to be so incredibly task-driven that she often didn’t leave herself any time for feeling peaceful, being still, or spiritual growth. She was always worrying about how things looked and gaining the approval of others. There was a vacancy in her heart for God, for Jesus, for the Holy Spirt, but I don’t believe that she saw or felt the seeds being thrown down to her by God; she lived in too much worry to see them. I saw this and didn’t want to be that way, but funnily enough—family values or traits don’t always get to be chosen—sometimes they just appear within you. For a variety of reasons, I am a very stressed adult, but the problem is that the worry I add into my life by refusing to really be still and KNOW, is what prevents me from not only living in the glory of God but from sharing that glory of God with others.
Recently we have had a change in our home and we have acquired an additional room to our house. Prior to this, my ten month old baby’s room doubled as my office. I didn’t feel like I had any space to go and just be still. I was worried that if I sat down and wasn’t productively doing something, or sleeping to prepare to do more of the things….than I was disappointing my family, or my students, or my friends, or someone. That someone, was me. I’ve really been needing to stir up my own soil. And while it feels kind of sad that I needed to get my own office and meditation space to do it (this is my guilt talking because many people don’t have that option and then I feel idiotic that I needed the space to allow myself to be still…but, I’m a work in progress), I am so looking forward to making this space a place to sit, to be still, and allow myself to receive the seeds that God is sending me. I am ready, it is time.