I have been in rebellion. Willful disobedience. Denial.
Really what I've been entrenched in is sin.
What a harsh word. I find it easier to tell myself I'm being disobedient, or back slid, or even rebellious. The world loves rebellion after all. Just look at the new Dr. Pepper commercial where one girl proudly wears her white shirt with red letters proclaiming "I am a rebel."
But to just come right out and say "I've been in sin. And my flesh has been loving it."
That makes me physically nauseous. Oh, the sin may not be what the general populous would call "bad." In fact, it would be construed as quite good. I've been working in my yard. I've been playing with my girls. Preparing meals. Clipping coupons. Reading books that I've had on the waiting list on the library.
Life is busy with softball and work, and it's spring so the yard is calling my name. I'm finding myself getting wrapped up in the "doing" so that I can be the "have it all together" kind of girl that I envision myself to be.
Anyone who knows me is shaking their head at my self delusion. I struggle with flakiness. One of my dear mentors at church told me that if I'm finding myself forgetting about things I need to do, it's because I'm over committed. I scoffed at that mentally. But deep down inside I know she's right.
So, instead of eliminating things, I simply endeavor to become more organized. Because if I just plan my day better, and don't watch any TV, or stop daydreaming in the yard swing while I sip my coffee, I will get all of the things I NEED to get done finished and my family will rise up and call me blessed. Because I'm pretty sure my family likes a pretty flower bed, and fresh home grown tomatoes, and they ESPECIALLY like to walk in the door from softball to the table set with a nutritious hot meal ready to be enjoyed.
All of those are good things, right? They certainly aren't BAD.
But here's the deal. My pursuit of "having it all together" just isn't working out for me. They have been drawing me into temporal thoughts, not eternal thoughts. They have been bolstering my self worth with a sense of, "look what I accomplished today." They have been feeding my flesh and my flesh has been quite pleased with itself.
But my soul has been in quiet misery.
The crisis came last Friday. Good Friday as a matter of fact. Our choir has a Tenebrae service. It is a time of reflection on the cross and the sacrifice that Christ made before we have a big celebration of His resurrection on Sunday. We serve the Lord's Supper during that service, but as the choir is singing during that time, our pastor and deacons serve the choir before the service. The pastor pointed out to us that "whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord."
I immediately realized my heart was not prepared to partake of the supper. I was convicted that I was not to take of the elements. We paused and had a moment to search our hearts. I had a chat with God and decided I was good to go. After all, I had confessed my sins. God is faithful and just to forgive us, right?
I took the cup. I ate the bread.
And I have never felt more spiritually absent during a service in my life. Seriously. It was as if a wall was up between me and my God. I was singing to Him. I was truly trying to take in and contemplate the words being sung to Him. I was trying to get that joyous feeling of connection that comes when I truly block out what the congregation is thinking or doing, what the lady next to me in the choir is singing and I just focus on God and who He is. After all, my role in the choir is to help lead worship, and if I'm not up there truly worshiping, I'm just another warm body who is hopefully singing on key.
So, I endeavored to focus on my Savior.
But I wasn't feeling it.
So that was painful. And it was an eye opener. I took some serious time to pray over the weekend and by Sunday I was in a true celebratory mood as I went to church. This week (all the way to Wednesday let's not be too proud of me, Gentle Reader) I've spent time in His Word each day. I've taken time to talk to Him. I've written my thoughts on the scripture He gave me in my journal.
And I feel refreshed. And I am forgiven. And He is right here where I left Him.
I am currently involved in a study written by Kelly Minter titled "No Other Gods." In my pursuit of an image, I have been neglecting my King and Redeemer,, the LORD Almighty, the first and the last, the Rock of my salvation (Isaiah 44:6-8.)
God showed me this morning that I've been carrying about images that are "burdensome, a burden for the weary. They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity." (Isaiah 46:1-2)
The illusion of getting my life organized and having a pretty yard and a well fed family is a weary burden that can never satisfy me. It will continually drag me down because no matter how cute the house is, or how weed free my flower beds I will always tell myself, "I could be doing more."
The idol of perfection will always leave my soul weary.
COME TO ME, ALL YOU WHO ARE WEARY AND BURDENED AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST. TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU AND LEARN FROM ME, FOR I AM GENTLE AND HUMBLE IN HEART, AND YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. FOR MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT.
What burden is weighing you down? Call up on the LORD Almighty. He will give you rest.