(After reading over the following post I am not sure if I wrote what I intended to write when I sat down, but I certainly wrote something. Here it is.)
There are times in our lives when we wonder what God is teaching us when all we have to do is open our eyes. I've wondered lately what I am supposed to be learning, and it’s almost laughable that I have missed the lesson the last couple years (Ok, maybe it’s been three or four years—see “It’s Time” post from July 2011). A lot has happened so I haven't wasted this time. But I have wasted a lot of energy during this time. And just maybe my lesson can help somebody else, so here goes.
I have always held in contempt people who would argue that single folks just don’t understand how difficult it is living with someone else. And here has been the response that I have always had to bite my tongue to hold back on. “Is it really harder when you have someone else to help keep the house clean? Or do all the laundry? Does having someone else around to cook dinner sound like a hassle? Who doesn't want to have to do all the yard work themselves? Who needs somebody else to help make sure all the bills get paid? Or even to earn enough money to pay those bills? You don’t need any help remembering birthdays or anniversaries. You can be all things to all people, right?”
See, since I have been out on my own I have taken great pride in the fact that I do it all. I cook. I clean. I do yard work and household repairs. I pay all the bills. I do all the laundry (ironing included). I remember birthdays and anniversaries and even buy gifts sometimes. It’s not just doing it all that I have taken pride in. It’s the fact that I have done it all pretty well.
And there it is: “Pride comes before a fall.”
I haven’t claimed to be P. Allen Smith, Ty Pennington, and Emeril Legasse rolled into one, but I have gotten by. While I may be able to get everything done, God has been teaching me that I don’t have to do it all. Or at least I don’t have to do it all all the time.
I know the solution my parents would have. “Get married!” But to be blunt, that wouldn't come close to fixing the problem. And here’s why. (Here's where I try to recover with the couples I offended above.) Those folks I held in contempt for talking about how bad they have it as part of a couple have the EXACT problem I have. They’re trying to do it all. We could all stand to learn to let go. I can’t claim to be a relationship expert, but I would argue that a big part of what makes two people living life together so difficult is that neither of them wants to let go. That could be letting the other person do something (whether or not it gets done the way you think it should) or even letting something go undone. It wouldn't be the end of the world. But since this isn't about couples, I’ll move on.
So, now, I realize that, yes, I can do it all, but maybe that’s not best. I have run myself ragged keeping track of every dollar, remembering every event, cooking every meal, so on and so forth. Lightning will not strike if I don’t get the shrubs around my house trimmed this weekend (even if my neighbors do). I do not have to cook every meal from scratch. The universe will not collapse if I neglect to get a gift or attend an event. What good does it do me to spend Friday and/or Saturday night ironing clothes? I AM AT HOME ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT! Why do I need ironed clothes?!?
I've been living my life constantly fretting over making sure everything gets done. God has a better idea for me. And here’s the question He’s posed: “Wouldn't it be something to be overwhelmed by all you get to do in life instead of being overwhelmed by all you have to do?” It’s time to let go and live a different life—a life God is in control of, not Davis. And just maybe that life has less to do with checking of a list of things I think need to get done and more to do with things God can accomplish through me. And the best thing, I know those two lists are never far from converging when I look to Him.
God can handle it. After all “He’s got the whole world in His hands!”