Monday, March 24, 2008

My life

Easter Sunday, 6 pm-ish: I am on my hands and knees cleaning the floor of my pantry. Two thoughts flit across my consciousness. One, pride brings out the fool in each of us. And two, this is so ending up as a blog post.

Why the pantry floor and why on Easter? One word: termites. To treat the termite "swarm" the pest control man will need access to the pantry wall. Meaning, of course, he will need access to the pantry itself, meaning the true state of my pantry's cleanliness (or lack thereof) will thereby be exposed to someone not a member of the immediate family.

My pride tells me this will not do. My pride, knowing the termite man has agreed to come first thing Monday morning, compels me to my hands and knees, on Easter no less, in order to propagate the pretense that my pantry floor always has been and always will be a shining example of cleanliness next to godliness.

Pretense, I said, the inevitable by product of pride. Vanity, vanity.

As I wiped and scraped, I wondered, "What next?" The washer overflowing, the van door getting hit, and now termites. It seems we can hardly turn around without getting slammed with the next unplanned, unpleasant distraction.

I think it's Rosemary's fault. See, a few weeks ago she posted this wise and profound quote on life's interruptions:

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's own or real life. The truth is, of course, that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life--the life God is sending one day by day. -C.S. Lewis

I printed it out, placed it next to my computer, and then suffered all manner of interruptions. Not just the kinds of interruptions where my kids want/need something (now!) while I am on the phone (already!), but interruptions with greater capacity to steal, kill and destroy focus and joy.

"I'm sick of these detours!" I thought to myself. "I can't get anything done for having to call the plumber / go to the body shop (again) / clean out the pantry for the pest control man!"

Wah, wah. Cry me a river. There are believers across this planet persecuted, even martyred, for their faith, others nearly crushed by the weight of unrelenting grief or pain, and me, I cry over the state of my pantry.

Rosemary's quote reminds me that this is my life: the pleasant and the (seemingly) unpleasant. What God sends my way this day is my life, my real life, the life to which He has called me. How will I respond? In the pretense of pride? The misery of self pity? Or the joy of surrender, seeking the glory of God in Christ, whatever the circumstance?

Take my life, Lord, let it be
consecrated, Lord to thee...

9 comments:

  1. Oh, friend...I can commiserate with you! The mundane (or not so mundane, as the case may be) details of everyday life are where I falter in my faith the most. I am not fond of inconveniences, and interruptions most usually are.

    Your post is making me hold a mirror to my wretched soul. Ouch!

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  2. OH....AMEN! Thanks for sharing! That quote by CS Lewis is GOOOOOOOOOOOOD! I so often say when will life just be "normal", but THIS IS "normal"! The question is when will I submit to that?!!! Oh Lord, that I would be wholly submitted to you, not my will, but yours be done!

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  3. Oh, yes, friend. I relate to this so well. It's easy to be faithful in the grand and glorious. But it's the "little" things that trip us up.

    What was that old fable about the elephant and the mouse?

    But you recognized it while you were down there. So take heart! You are being conformed to the image of His Son.

    And she who is faithful in little will also be faithful in much.

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  4. At MOPS last week, the speaker said studies have shown preschoolers have three "needs" that must be met every minute. That's a need every 20 seconds. "I'm hungry." "Can you get me my milk?" "Mom! I'm done!"

    We live a life of constant interruptions. You'd think we'd get it by now. But advertising is strong. Sometimes stronger than God's truth.

    Thanks for making His voice just a little louder in my soul today.

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  5. My fault, eh? Actually, I'm delighted that God is using the Lewis quote I posted to continue His work in your life. He is ever faithful, isn't He?

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  6. THIS has so been my life lately as well...my post today in fact! I am with you! Praying you get a reprieve soon, but I have decided to quit expecting one...CS was correct. THIS is the life!

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  7. Great post. Great quote from Lewis. Great thoughts from you. But now I feel convicted, because I've been griping about all the interruptions to my schedule as well. Ah, well, God has so much work to do in my heart, and he's using you today to shape and direct me.

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  8. I LOVE this post. Love the quote, the honesty, the "it is what it is" aspect and most of all I love the assurance that I'm not the only one who needs to clean my pantry floor.

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  9. Oh, friend...I can commiserate with you! The mundane (or not so mundane, as the case may be) details of everyday life are where I falter in my faith the most. I am not fond of inconveniences, and interruptions most usually are.

    Your post is making me hold a mirror to my wretched soul. Ouch!

    ReplyDelete