The baby doesn’t nap.
He’s a maniac, and I’m exhausted. He is walking everywhere, and when I say he’s walking what I really mean is jogging. Usually with things in his hands that he’s not supposed to have. The kid is fast. He never seems to get tired. He just runs from one end of the house to the other, dropping TV remotes into laundry hampers and throwing wireless computer mouses when he hears my footsteps. He’s a whirlwind of electronic devices and cereal bar crumbs.
There’s a monkey on my back.
I had an anxiety attack this morning. I get very upset sometimes, about the state of things, and by “things” I mean “how messy my rain gutters are”. This might be a good time to point out that it’s over 100 degrees here, and there is no danger of rain. Nonetheless, the gutters are full of pine needles, my kitchen drawers are a catch all for the curse known as “stuff”, my minivan is a disaster, and so am I.
Perfectionists don’t need logic to make them worry. We can make up problems in any situation. Last night I was on the verge of tears because I have a kitten hiding behind my dryer. He seems to have a social disorder or something. Either that, or he’s having a love affair with lint. It was very upsetting.
I know that worry is a sin. God tells us to be anxious about nothing, but with prayer and petition bring our requests to Him.
This morning I tried to petition Him about neurotic kittens. It was mildly hilarious. My prayers are often tinged with hysteria.
I flung my rain gutter worries and my kitten problems to God, knowing full well that I’m ridiculous.
He didn’t call me ridiculous. He didn’t call me anything. I drove to my friend’s house for breakfast and waited for peace.
The bacon helped.
You know what’s hard about being a Christian? Knowing that you should be feeding the poor and stuff but instead you’re devastated by messy rain gutters and dryer kittens. Understanding that all of the cool, holy Christians are probably being selfless and thinking of ways to encourage you to start a soup kitchen or a neighborhood event.
But today I remembered this: Christ following is not built on social justice, it’s built on the Cross. If I live for social justice, I’ll burn out. If I live with the desire to know Jesus, I’ll thrive. When I go to God with my silly problems that make my heart race and my lips dry, he doesn’t chide me for being so materialistic. He doesn’t shake his finger at me for being so selfish. He feeds me waffles and bacon.
And as I sat at the table, thinking about how ridiculous I am, basking in self loathing and neurotic kitten hate, He loved me. He sent me a little piece of happiness, because He is joy, and He is peace, and He is funny.
Nothing says “I love you” like a sunbathing turtle.
God doesn’t love you because you are worry free, organized, friendly, kind, or charitable. He doesn’t love you because you did the right thing. He loves you because while you were a mess, while you are a mess, He died for you. He died for me. Nothing you and I can do will make Him love us more. He first loved us in our sin.
So I’m a selfish, anxious person with ridiculous problems that keep me up at night. Maybe my world is too small and I need to serve more. Maybe I need a nap. All I know is that I need Jesus, and Jesus keeps showing up to give me hugs and weird turtles, because He knows what I like. Because he loves me.
“Accepting the reality of our sinfulness means accepting our authentic self. Judas could not face his shadow; Peter could. The latter befriended the impostor within; the former raged against him.”
― Brennan Manning