How about this blog, huh?
Last week and this looked to be pretty involved – meetings and other all-day events. Another reason I like Lent. In any other season, I might have bungled along, but it being Lent, I decided to say no to the blog and yes to…being sensible. How’s that for lofty hard-core Lenten discipline. I’m aiming for basic common sense.
I knew that given what was on the schedule, I needed to spend every available minute keeping up with the house and kids. That’s what God asks of me in this stage of life. Keep up with the laundry. Feed people. Serve. So this blog went dead for a while, but we all have clean clothes and there is something to be said about that.
So what, exactly have I been up to? Well, somewhere out in blogland- maybe a comment on someone else’s blog – I forget – is me yakking something about from now on when someone asks what I have been up to I’ll just say “the usual” or something. So what has kept me from my laptop? “Oh, the usual.”
When you ask a friend how she’s doing, do you often hear “OH! Crazy busy!! Crazy, crazy! Busy, busy! 5 Committee meetings, 4 soccer games, 3 birthday parties, 2 field trips…” (Are you waiting for …”and a partridge in a pear tree”?)
We begin to think there’s a competition here. What if your answer is “I talked to my teenage son for 2 hours.” “I got up in the middle of the night with the baby and stayed up for 2 hours looking at the stars and the baby.” “I finally bought all my husband’s favorite foods and made them for him for dinner.” How does that stack up?
Most of the meetings I’ve had these few weeks have had to do with the Catholic schools here in our hometown. There is very strong involvement among the lay people here, which is great.
We’ve had some interesting discussions about what is our purpose here. To lead? Almost always. To serve? Always. Always.
If being a leader means to be of influence, then clearly, we all have the potential to be leaders. We influence the people around us almost always, though not always for the good.
What about serving? If we have the slightest aspiration to follow a Christian path, then to be of service is all in all. To serve. However God calls us.
We had some humorous discussions about some of our “helpers” who want to be involved, but don’t want to serve. That makes things tough. On them, mostly. They know something is missing, but can’t figure out what. “I’m sure not feelin the love!” said one. Maybe he’s not giving the love.
When dealing with a group of people who are trying to live a faithful life, trying to do God’s will…well, as imperfect as they are, they still know God’s voice when they hear it. His voice never sounds like a sales pitch. They know God’s voice when they feel it. It never feels like a 2 X 4.
So this poor guy is feeling a disconnect because he’s not connecting. He’s trying to outman and outgun, impress and maybe even bully. He’ll figure it out, cause he really does want to do something. He’ll just have to figure out that when he wants to do what God wants him to do, others will buy in – they will recognize God’s voice speaking in him. He’ll be able to lead when he figures out that he first has to serve – serve Someone Else’s agenda as well as the someone else.
We’re all supposed to be doing what God wants from us. We know there is no happiness outside that, so that doesn’t seem too much of a problem. Where we often get into trouble is when we compare what God is asking of us with what God is asking of the other guy. Let the games begin! If our friend seems to be working waaay harder than we are, we like to critique that and poke holes in her commitment. If she seems to be living the high life, we’re not crazy about that either. Too busy? Too involved? OR Too fluff chick? Too high maintenance?
We envy our friend’s ability to juggle things, then privately question her commitment to her “priorities”, or we scoff at someone with a little too much free time and throw out a catty “must be nice”.
UGH. Maybe we could just agree to serve. Period. At different stages of our lives that will look different. We may wear a nursing bra for 15 years and then a suit for the next 15. Who knows. Who, besides God, should care? When we ask “How are you?” maybe we ought to encourage the real answer to that ? from our friends, instead of the presumptive laundry list of today’s accomplishments. How are you?