Wednesday, July 20, 2016
What do we deserve?
With this long stint of laundry and cleaning, it is easy to say that I "deserve" a break soon. While this phrase is commonplace and in no way wrong, I personally have concluded that I dislike the phrase. It's not that I never think certain people have worked hard and deserve rest, but hearing or stating that I have merited or become worthy of a privilege seems to only fuel my sense of self-righteousness and pride in my work.
I was reading some of the historical roots of "vacationing" (because I have nothing better to do), and it turns out, as you'd probably assume, that "the first vacationers in the early part of the 19th century were elite people, some of whom were going away for their health" (Aron, www.npr.org). The average Joe, those who were probably working harder than others, comparatively speaking, the blue-collared men and women building families and cities, didn't take real vacations. Their rest and relaxation probably occurred more organically. Their perspective and definition of respite was likely different from their "elite" counterparts. I'm sure a nice rocking chair on Sunday or star gazing during a quiet evening on the farm was the extent of their breaks.
It's not that I don't like to take "vacations," but I've come to conclude that we are a bit too entitled in our society, and I fear that if I don't change myself, my children will entitle themselves right alongside of me.
There's a hidden message prowling around that says we must look out for ourselves or no one else will. I disagree. God looks out for me daily. I've seen Him give me exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. I know I've preached that before, but I neglected to recognize because of my disciplined and ritualistic personality that subconsciously I believe my time, my body, my rest, my sleep, and my abilities are mine. I always tell Silas everything belongs to God when he proudly takes toys away from his brother stating they are "MINE." Somehow physical objects are easier to associate with an owner than invisible ones. But God really owns everything.
Fighting our own selfishness is constant. When I give up everything and deny myself such distinct ownership, I somehow experience more peace and gain exactly what I needed in the first place. Instead of getting angry at a thousand sleepless nights because I "deserve" a good night's rest, instead of striving to fit in a full workout because I "deserve" to some exercise, instead of justifying my academic career or resume with my current mom title because I "deserve" mental stimulation or adult interaction, if I just give it all up, somehow a perfect night of sleep, a wonderful long walk, or an unexpected date occurs without all my complaining efforts. Then I actually enjoy each moment knowing I'll have what I need whenever God opens that door. There's so much more peace in living in each moment, letting God take care of all the details. If I want my children to trust me and not worry about getting "their turn" or "their share," shouldn't I do the same?
"Be still and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10