Tuesday, March 19, 2013

{day twenty seven} at the foot of the cross I lay down my plate...

I received a diagnosis today.

It was a self-diagnosis, but those are always the most accurate, right?!  I mean, who doesn't love WebMD and all the information available at our fingertips at the slightest hint of an uncomfortable symptom.

My diagnosis is reaching epic proportions in lives all around me.  I believe it to be an epidemic.  An epidemic that effects every facet of a person's life.  An epidemic threatening to erode a person's heart and steal joy.  

And it happens before you even realize it.  One minute you think you are living the typical American life.   Working, mommy-ing, wife-ing, friend-ing, volunteering, studying, teaching, leading, praying, cooking, cleaning.

Day in and day out.  Rinse and repeat.  

In the very next minute, you start to resent the very things you love to do.  You feel weighed down by it all.  Things you felt called to.  Good things.  Fulfilling things.  You dream that someone will just come and take a little bit of it away.  If someone would just scrub the toilets, then you might have a little more time to prepare for Bible study.  If someone would just unload the dishwasher, you may have time to check email.  If someone would attend the umpteenth meeting of the week for you, you may be able to actually get some work done.  If someone would do the grocery shopping, you may feel like cooking.  If someone would just realize that you are only one person and you can't possibly accomplish it all on your own, you may not drift off to sleep the minute you sit down in the evening.  

And yet, we just keep piling more and more on our already overloaded plates.  And I'm not referring to the plate that we pick up at the nearest buffet.  I'm talking about all the things we keep putting on our plate of life.  We just keep stacking one right on top of the other.  Until it all threatens to come toppling to the ground.

I am guilty.  Oh-so-very-guilty.

For several weeks I haven't been able to put my finger on this weight that threaten to bring me to my knees.  That is, until it brought me to my knees.  On my knees, at the foot of the Cross, I asked what had caused me to buckle under pressure.   Overwhelmed and anxious, I felt as if I wasn't doing anything well.  I was merely surviving.  Going through the motions.  Moving from one responsibility to the other without giving my full attention to that task in front of me.  

If only Someone....

Someone showed up in my office around 5 o'clock this evening.  With a cup of tea, no less.

It was in this moment today that Jesus spoke softly and gently to me.  His Voice sounded like the familiar voice of a dear co-worker.  But I heard Him loud and clear.  I work for Him.  Anything I am doing that feels heavy or burdensome is not of Him.  Therefore, it does not bring glory to His name.

Once I was on my knees, I was reminded that I was never intended to accomplish it all.  I was reminded that  saying no or pushing a few things off my plate doesn't make me less of Christian.  Nor does it mean that I love Jesus any less.  

I'm still not sure what things God is calling me to remove from my plate.  I'm still seeking Him and listening intently for the areas that I can best serve Him with the gifts He has graced me with.  

But one thing is for sure.  I will no longer allow the overwhelming epidemic of self-reliance and responsibility to rob me of my joy.  

'Indeed you will go out with joy;

you will be led along in peace;

the mountains and hills will give a joyful shout before you,

and all the trees in the field will clap their hands.'
Isaiah 55:12

What do you keep piling on your plate?  What things do you think you could remove from your plate in order to better serve the Lord?

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