Ever wonder why our daily lives seem so, well, daily? Same stuff, different day. Same old tired argument, same old bickering, same old knee-jerk reaction. You look ahead to the years before you and wonder if things will ever change, if you’ll ever change. And a change of heart comes so ssssssssssssslowly.
Sometimes I feel trapped by circumstances. I think I know where I want to go, but it’s taking forever to get there.
I have this great vision of how my life should be. I should be an in-demand Christian women’s speaker and teacher, traveling to and fro, bringing the light of the Word to a motivated and hungry world. Wherever I go, ministry happens. Women are comforted, encouraged, and grow strong in the Lord. People everywhere turn to Christ. I should have a book or two tucked under my belt and a lively, well-trodden blog through which I interact with scads of other Jesus freaks and true seekers. I should have my perfect, pretty little house to come home to and wonderful clothes to wear on my slim, trim, healthy, & strong body. I’d be properly plugged into my local church serving alongside women who love Christ and one of them would be my best friend. I’d have plenty of time and energy for hiking and reading and just messing around. All my bills would be paid on time and in-full, especially my credit card. There would always be more than enough money to go around and I could give furiously and extravagantly. My family and friends and, well, just everyone, would love me. My whole being would honor and glorify God all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.
My real life is nothing like that. My real life is so daily: making uncomplicated meals for my mom who has Alzheimer’s, helping her dress appropriately at least a few times a day, and generally keeping her entertained so she doesn’t start in with “Where’s the baby?”, “I have to go to work,”or her latest, “It’s time to go home” scenario. And all the while trying to time everything so she’ll go to bed without a fight that evening. Arguing with my mom is fruitless. I’m getting better and better at taming my tongue, but there’s still a lot of habit to break in that domain. Taking care of my mom is mentally exhausting. Sometimes I want to tune her out. I spend a lot of time confessing, but only some of the time actually repenting. Most of the time, I just want to sit in my recliner all day lazily sipping coffee, reading, writing, and playing on the computer. There doesn’t seem to be much energy leftover for exercise, get-togethers, and the like. Of course, this is actually the easy part of caring for my mom. Things will only get worse as time goes by. She’ll progressively require greater physical care as more and more of her brain’s ability is usurped by Alzheimer’s.
That’s when I wonder if this is what my life is all about. Am I going to spend these years caring for Ma and then just collapse and die afterward never having done the things I want to do? Is this all the daily bread there is for me?
I cannot know the future, but this I know. God has called me to this season for purposes of His own. I have a pretty good idea that these years are essential to the work He is completing in me. It’s my job to take my eyes off the circumstance and stop asking, “What’s in it for me?”
And that, my friends, is what this season is all about. It’s an opportunity to obey His call to live for the sake of another. It’s about humility, considering my mom better than myself. Not for a crown or reward, but for love of Christ.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!” -Philippians 2:3-8
These are not wasted days. This is prime time. My dream is a nice one, albeit a bit magnified. But given the choice – and we are, my friends, we are – I choose God’s plan, His dream for me. What about you? God’s plan is always so much bigger and better than our limited imagination. And better yet, it’s a sure thing.