I watch A. cook lunch on a camping stove and I adore watching him chop and slice veggies with a way too small knife. There is such a simple bliss that exists in our ordinary moments together that they by far outweigh the big events. I think my paranoia often looks for changes and instability in social situations and relationships, so I deeply enjoy the normality of co-existence.
This last week has been a lovely break from my incessant worrying. Change is inevitable, and sometimes life will throw you at it, or you can be the instigator of necessary change. I have been assessing my home, throwing out old books I will never read, giving away mugs I don’t like and passing down old favourites to new homes. All the while taking a look at the abstract possessions I have accumulated in my heart, and identifying the things I need to let go of, to make room for the riches of married life, but at what point does one stop?
One of the blessed attributes that have been a source of conflict, both inwardly and outwardly is my constant analysis of everything, which leads to chronic worrying, loss of healthy spontaneity, misunderstandings, loss of sleep, unhealthy bowel movements (yes, I went there), sugar cravings, series binge-ing etc. This week I grabbed that chicken by the head and as I was about to put it on the copping block, I realised that some characteristics, actually make me who I am. It helps me to do a lot of the things I am good at and makes a genuine contribution to relationships and life.
Without an analytical mind, I would be a superficial and bland artist, I would not have cared about social/relational issues, I would not have had this blog, and I would not have learnt as much from life or anything else. I would not have loved people in the same way and I would not have had much determination. I think there is relevance in acknowledging that we have been given certain gifts that need God’s tutelage so that it can serve others. I t reminded me of the little boy with the fish and bread (Matt 14:17-19). I needed to acknowledge that I HAVE fish and bread to bring to God, and stop complaining that I don’t have butter for my lunch, and throw out what I have altogether. We can live small lives if we judge and compare what we have to serve our own tiny dreams or we can acknowledge that God gives according to His riches and uses it to build HIS KINGdom. Am I willing to give what is in my hand, even if it means giving the very hand itself?
The grace in this is that God doesn’t expect us to change the world, if it were, our humble snoek and braaibroodjie (BBQ sandwich) wouldn’t cut it. We would have a reason to feel despondent and defeated if we served such a tiny god. What worth would poor people from broken homes have if this were His expectation? What pitiful worth would I have? Sadly we judge ourselves by these silly standards. I do. Shall I give God what I have in acknowledgement that I am both poor (because of me) and immeasurably rich (because of who I belong to). These juxtapositions baffle non-believers, but for me it’s just confirmation that we are way too small-minded to grasp the mind of God, who distinguishes on scales far more precise than we can comprehend.
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
It is not up to us to judge the things (body, attributes and possessions) we have or what we can or cannot do with it. No wonder the Lord forbids us from comparing ourselves with others (one of my personal favourite sins). I am looking forward to celebrating what God is doing with what I don’t have, and I’m excited to tell you what it is, so watch this space.