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What is it that’s so Hard About Commitment?

Lately I’ve been fighting a low mood. Things seem to take more energy than I can give them. I often feel like I don’t do enough. So I started thinking about the things that fill my days. I care for a toddler, I work two days a week, I clean, I cook, I run an (albeit tiny) online business, I exercise, I attend and study for Bible study, I attend church and often am involved in the worship service in some small way and once in a great while, I blog. I try to connect with other people, too.  So… okay. I don’t do nothing. I know lots of people have comparable or much busier schedules than I and, while I’m not saying people can’t do many things well, what I discovered is that I am both under-and-over-committed at the same time. To clarify, while I do plenty, I don’t do ANY of the things I listed as well as I could. And while I have quite a few commitments, I find myself cheating on them and being less consistent and steadfast than I’d like to be. I also find that my attitude toward something to which I’ve committed is usually at least a little negative. Things that I want to do, that are pleasurable to me, feel like obligations the second I commit. I’m better about that than I used to be, but it is still a problem.

Jesus exhibited a commitment to long, hard work, as did his disciples. And they knew the importance of rest. Interestingly, though, for Jesus and at least some of his disciples it seemed to be their only work. I’m sure that work manifested itself in myriad ways, but the goal was unchanging. Maybe that’s what needs to change for me. I tend to focus on the individual goals of each activity or venture and am quick to lose sight of God in them. And maybe it seems over the top to keep my eye on God while I’m vacuuming up cracker crumbs and dog hair, but If my goal is to love and please God as well as I possibly can, if I stop saying, “I don’t want to” so often and just act, maybe the work will be more fruitful and the rest and refreshment will come easier.

But WHY is it so very hard? I know that it won’t easy to change my focus. Even now my brain and heart are rejecting some of the things I know I need to do to eliminate the clutter that doesn’t serve his purpose. I don’t know how to become a cheerful and energetic giver, except to continue to pray and, well, fake it till I make it. 🙂

It is encouraging to look back over the last few years, though, and see that I have changed. I know that I will ALWAYS be trying to get closer to God, but it’s nice to know that progress can be made. For all of you stubborn kindred spirits who are struggling to give up the internal battle and let God change you, I get it. Keep the faith!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” -Colossians 3:23-24

 

 

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The Bread of Affliction

No regular post today; just feeling overwhelmed, for lack of a more appropriate word, at the immense, intense pain and suffering and fear that so many people experience every day. It is a struggle for me to truly and fully face these things when I come across them, and a struggle to not become immobilized. But I know that it is not right to close my eyes and assume that I can’t help.

I don’t have a wise insight or biblical wisdom that makes it all easier, but a verse that I read a few months ago stayed with me and keeps coming to mind, so I wanted to share it.

“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.”  Isaiah 30:20

Oddly, while the promise is comforting, it isn’t what struck me. What struck me was the God-given “…bread of adversity and the water of affliction.” Could it be that sometimes these are the very things that sustain us? Such things often prompt us to look to God, to accept our inability apart from Him. I don’t wish to sound callous, but maybe pain can indeed nourish us. God, I hope so. And I pray for the courage, compassion and humble spirit necessary to be your hands and feet.