It’s easy enough on Tuesday morning to sit with sunshine streaming onto hands and say Make Jesus your One Thing.
But on Wednesday night, when you’re lying in bed with the ridiculousness of a busy day behind you, with so little accomplished, with so much left to do, with no time to do it– well, it’s just not so simple anymore.
If I ever give the impression that I’ve got things all figured out, that is a mistake, an unintentional falsehood. The truth is that every time I post something in my blog about walking with Jesus I fail at pretty much the next opportunity to practice what I preach. I write about my eating issues and then I go on vacation and pretty much blow it at every turn. I write about peace and struggle with wild-hearted panic for the next week. I write about provision and then worry and fret that there’s not enough money for this new big need.
I stared toward the ceiling in our dark bedroom last night and all these crazy thoughts raced through my head. And I asked, What does it mean for me to follow Jesus right now? In the mundane bedroom-cleaning and toilet-scrubbing and too-long to-do lists and frustrations and unmet expectations and failures?
I fell asleep with questions unanswered, woke up so early this morning with all this storm still raging. Because there’s just so much of my life that seems so out of control, so chaotic. Because everywhere I look in my house there’s a mess that needs cleaning, a problem that needs solving, a person that needs loving. And in my head I know that relationships need to come first, but it is really really hard to look at my to-do list and at this child who won’t stop asking questions and to choose what is better.
This morning my time of confession was more of a pour-out-your-heart-before-the-Lord kind of time than anything else. Just a dump of all the things swirling around in my head and making me feel crazy. And, as usual, God did not shine a huge spotlight brighter than a thousand suns down over my life and show me how everything can fall into place– where all the puzzle pieces go. It was just a little light– do this and talk to this person. Two little steps to take in all this huge jumble of chaos and mixed-up mess. Predictably, the two little steps involve people.
Relationships are always going to be more important to God than to-do lists. Don’t get me wrong; I believe I am called to be a homemaker and to glorify God by being a steward of the home God has given me. I believe that much of the stuff on my list right now will, in the end, allow me to cultivate relationships more. These things are important, but they aren’t as important as the people in my life.
Time after time, God shows me that my priorities need to be Him first, relationships next, everything else third. So often that order gets all upside-down and backward and twisted up and crazy in my mind, and then, even at the end of a busy and productive day, I feel like I have accomplished nothing.
What’s going to matter tomorrow? Next Friday? In ten years? That we got the boys’ bedroom organized? That I crossed off everything on the to-do list today? That I made my bed? Maybe. This work we do in our homes is a task given by God and it can and should be done for His glory. But there is no doubt that the time spent on that hurting relationship, the time spent ministering to that broken spirit, the time spent in Scripture and in the presence of God– these things will matter more. These things are treasures in heaven.
I sang it to myself last night as I struggled to fall asleep– Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
So I look to Jesus, following my own advice. And everything does dim compared to Him. And then He points His little spotlight on what’s next for me. Just a little bit of light this morning– enough for the next little step. Do this. Talk to this person.
Oh, and of course the main thing– Trust me. I’ve got all this figured out already.
Isn’t He a good God?