I was fifteen minutes late for work this morning.
In my defense, that’s how much time it takes when one realizes one has two video games checked out of the library and one does not know how long said games have been out. I had to drive to the library before work so we don’t have to pay more fines, because we are literally supporting at least one staff member’s salary with our late fees and damaged goods alone.
I could have been on time, even with a stop at the library, except for the emergency laundry situation. “One of our children” (no names, please) asked for a new ruffled bedspread for Christmas. “One of our children” also ate a large dinner of chili, grapes, and ice cream last night. (Trust me, these are related facts.)
***Alert! If you have a sensitive stomach, you’re going to want to skip the next few lines.***
“One of our children” came to us at 11pm to report he/she had been violently ill all over his/her new ruffled bedspread.
In my personal opinion, there is no bedspread on earth that is worse in this exact situation than the bedspread we purchased for Christmas. I’ll spare you the details, but in one of those marriage-building experiences you wish you could skip, Eric and I were balancing over the tub while he held the huge comforter and I sprayed a hundred ruffles down with the shower thingy. Both of us were trying not to be ill ourselves.
If it had been summer we just would have walked the thing outside and sprayed it off with the hose, but temperatures hovered at five below zero last night, rendering the hose and that idea useless. In the end we just did the best we could, filled the tub with water, and shut the bathroom door until the morning. I started soaking the three other blankets from her bed and had to leave the sheets in a pile on the floor in front of the washer.
You now see why I was late. The only reason I went to work at all was that I was confident the worst of his/her sickness was over, and all he/she wanted to do was sleep for four hours. The kids are old enough that I don’t need to stare at them while they sleep anymore.
I know I’m not the only person who has a story like this. Most of us have precariously balanced schedules, and then one thing goes wrong and KABOOM the whole thing falls apart.
As Christians, we want to follow God. We want to move to what He has next for us. In our heads, we believe this. But in our hearts, we’re thinking I’d really like to move to what God has next, but I’m really hoping He can take a little off what I’m currently doing. I don’t think I can add anything to this circus.
Take, for example, the four sets of young parents who were at our house for small group last night. We have four babies who are six months or younger at our house each Monday. There are literally babies everywhere. It’s like they’re exploding from the walls.
This doesn’t count the girl toddler, who climbed up on a chair and ate ice cream from someone’s abandoned bowl on the table. At least six adults sat and watched her do this because it was hilarious, but also because we’re tired.
All these young parents are just so tired. Of course they want to follow God to the next thing He has for their lives, but they’re exhausted. They don’t have any more energy to spare on new projects. If Moses had been the father of a five-month old when the burning bush called him, God’s people might still be in Egypt. He would have been unavailable for more assignments.
It’s amazing to me that God gets anything done through us at all. He could do it all so much faster himself, without our hectic schedules and pukey bedspreads and exhaustion. I know I’m willing, but I’m not sure how it’s all going to get done, Lord.
Willing but exhausted. (And smelling faintly of…ruffled bedspreads.) Feel free to step in and do your best, God. I’ve got nothing.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)