Thursday, March 20, 2008

Overloaded Handbags

I pray about things. All the time, in fact. Well, mostly. When I'm not racing through life and traffic (unless it's to pray for a string of green lights--thank you God!)

I try to go to my Father with the big things and the little things, and the big things that seem little—like loving my kids when they are pushing my patience to new limits or how to serve my husband when my own laziness and selfishness want to root me to the couch.

But the other day as I was praying about a big thing, I had an urch moment. You know, those moments when you’re full speed ahead, but something catches your attention, so you hit the brakes and uuuuuuuuurrrchhhh to a stop?

As I’m sitting there tires smoking around me (think figuratively, here), I realize that I rush into the throne room, dump my problems into God’s lap, and dash back out. But as I give him a quick hug and thank you, I grab those problems back up and carry them around like an over weighted purse. I may set it down for a moment here and there. But I tend to take it with me wherever I go—worrying and problem-solving as I rummage through the contents, twisting and turning them, trying to work things out. And of course, keeping one ear tuned toward heaven, in case God drops the answer down when I’m not looking.

As the smoke started to settle I had a radical thought. What if I gave God my problems and actually left them with him? I wasn’t sure. Were we supposed to do that? Shouldn’t I help with the process? It felt irresponsible to walk into God’s presence bearing a load of burdens, drop them off, and then saunter out without a care in the world. Didn’t my agonizing and reasoning alongside him show my investment to the issues and demonstrate that I’m clearly not irresponsible?

But he calls us to be like children. And don’t kids trust us to fix things for them? My kids don’t share their problems and then hover around the kitchen as I make dinner, throwing out helpful suggestions with nervous little gestures. They don’t dart back in the room every two seconds with a worried expression and repeat their requests from a new angle (well, unless it’s for a new Playstation game). They run off to the backyard and play, trusting their brilliant mom to work things out. That’s how we’re to be—trusting, in stillness, as we wait for his response.

God reminded me that when I try to reason through a problem, I’m limited to human answers from human reasoning. His ways are higher than our ways. As the Psalmist states, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding.” God takes responsibility for us, as all good parents do for their kids.

Next stop as I’m racing through those green lights, is to drop that purse off at the Salvation Army.

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