Friday, March 7, 2014

An Unholy System

Tonight I gave four baths: one for each of my three children, and then I did the dishes. Which is really starting to bother me because those dishes are old enough now that they should really be bathing themselves.

I don't know about you, but I've been doing dishes for so long that I have a system. I should mention that we don't own a dishwasher...I am the dishwasher in our house. So I have a particular way that I stack, sort, fill the sink, wash, dry, etc. Every now and again, someone comes along and messes with my system. I won't name any names, but he is tall, dark, handsome, and obnoxiously puts knives at the bottom of a sink of cold, dirty dishwater.

As I tackled a particularly overwhelming pile of tableware last night, I was reminded of other times that my system has been messed with.

A system is really just a means of control. And sometimes that's a good thing. I couldn't imagine traveling without speed limits, solid and dotted lines, and road signs. It would be chaotic and dangerous. But too often in my world, my systems demonstrate a lack of trust in my creator. They are more about tight-fisted control than anything else.

Anxiety is a system I operate by. If I can't see the outcome or circumstances aren't ideal, I worry. It seems legitimate, right? Shouldn't I be able to manipulate the world around me if I think it over and over and over? If I care enough, shouldn't I be able to turn things around so that they are ideal? And yet, God stands beside me with a smile saying, "You're not accomplishing much are you? Ready to do it my way?" (Matthew 6:26-27)

It's a tough one for me. Letting go of that control. Surrendering to his way. Thank God, he won't leave me alone until it sinks in. Sometimes his lessons come as a shock and they hurt, like sticking my hand in a sink of cold dishwater and discovering something sharp at the bottom. But, I am rejoicing in the appreciation that I am a work in progress, and looking forward to the day that I am complete.

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