As the new-ness of the school year begins to wear thin, the bustle of it remains thick and daunting like the dense fog of an early fall morning. And like so many leaves scattered and littering sidewalks and yards, so are my thoughts. I've never been one to claim attention deficit, but surely I must exhibit something very close to it just now.
But flitting ideas and concepts do nothing to further my cause of domestic stability, redemptive education, family connection, and even more foundationally-- worship. Like anyone, I have demands on my time that refuse to bow to lesser distractions. There are meals to plan, shop, and prepare for; a husband to love both in thought and in deed; children to nurture, disciple and educate; family and friends to connect with and pray for; neighbors to befriend; a world to serve and witness the gospel to; beds to make; carpets to vacuum; bathrooms to scrub; furniture to dust; a yard to mow and groom; a dog to feed and walk; chickens to tend and care for; a garden to plant; marketplace business of buying what we need and selling/giving what we don't; college classes, drivers ed, Bible studies; a part-time job that blurs into full-time-most-of-the-time; a God to know and worship and serve.
My list is not exhaustive nor is it especially more involved than anyone else's. It is much, though, and yet... I can feel a lot of burden and unease over all that I am NOT doing. I've fed no widows or orphans lately. I've not rescued any refugees or busted down the doors of any human traffickers. Ive not even invited my hurting neighbor over for supper yet. I have met small needs as they have literally bumped into me on an ordinary day: a phone call here, a prayer there, some grocery money, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. By the measure of need, it's not enough. I wrack my brain considering which of, and how many of, my priorities are superfluous. How much of it all is dusty chaff? Some days I don't know and this, too, is distraction. At the end of myself, with no slack left, I see the answer. I am not enough. I do not do enough. The things I do are, maybe often, the wrong things. If I'm not careful this is where condemnation could creep in with feelings of guilt and shame at every blog post I read, or sermon I listen to admonishing me to be someone I have not yet become. The weight of this judgement is suffocating, or at least it would be if it were, indeed, judgement. But there is a big difference between judgement and exhortation, even if the difference is only in how you perceive it.
And so, at the end of myself is not a bad place to be after all. The exhortation here is that, yes, I am not enough -- nothing new there. My God has always been enough and that has been the moral to every story ever told, including mine. For now, I am still hanging on to my house is suburbia and carting my kiddos around to their various activities. I'll not be selling all my worldly goods and going to work with Doctor's Without Borders or Mercy Ships, or enrolling in Law School so that I can work pro-bono in the name of social justice. I'm not dragging homeless people off the streets and into my home and I'm not strapping an Uzi to my back and fighting ISIS. And maybe none of those things are enough either, and maybe that's the point. So I'll keep on in the way I know and trust God to bend my way as He sees fit. He'll speak, and I'll hear, even in my lame, quotidian faithfulness.
Just now, He's telling me to go pick my kid up from youth group.