Circling, round and round is the noise of my brain. Do I move, do I not move? Do I reach out, do I not reach out? Do I gather up and recreate, do I just stay?
My prayers have been “Lord, forgive me for my selfishness, my pride, my ego, my temper, my foul temperament.” “Lord, I want more of you. I am missing you desperately. I desire your Spirit to overflow from me like it has before. I want that all the time. I hurt when I don’t feel you. Yes, I know you are there, but can’t it be abundant all the time?”
As I have written the call of my prayers above, thinking of David, the Psalmist, who has our same moanings to his Father. The times when I feel like I am so outside of myself in a supernatural joy is amazing; it’s always thanks only to our great God. The times when I feel like I’m in a desert and cannot muster up feeling anything but blah, I feel remorseful and default to thinking it’s something I’m not doing right.
And as I ponder these things, part of me not doing things right surely could come into play–I am not soaking myself in the word day and night. I am not fellowshipping with enough Godly people. I am not praying enough. I am not thanking God enough. But, I also know nothing I ever do on this earth will ever be enough. So, enough with the self-defeating lies!
However, reading Scripture points us to many places again and again in which the human goes round and round. Think about writings of King Solomon and his pursuit to seek the purpose of life. Think about the roller coaster ride of King David’s writings. And for additional stuff that will make one near crazy, throw in a couple readings of theologians and apologists’ takes on Scripture and what we are to glean from this or that. (Head blown emoji inserted here. And yes, I actually meant to type that and not insert actual emoji).
Round and round also weaves its way into my business. We’re in such a consumption culture, and instant gratification culture, an 8-second flash-in-the-pan attention span culture that I literally can tell you the negative affects that has had in my life and my mental health. I don’t think the same, I have outlets to release things that don’t necessarily need to be released, I have brain wires connected to way too many places.
Nothing is considered sacred any longer and many of the rules once considered social norms don’t necessarily seem to apply any longer. And I’ve played into that by allowing it to some degree. But dare I say that I indeed have believed the lie that my business would not sustain without it? Yes. I have.
A couple years back I was really struggling with my business feeding into consumerism. Essentially, I don’t want to kill myself, or my soul, for the sake of growing the business. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to feed into people spending money foolishly, eating improperly, making our product an idol. I’m in the sweets business, so we are a treat and we indeed are part of celebrations and events. However, my constant marketing efforts in my mind equates to the gorging pig vision screaming “more, more, MORE!!!”
Now, I’ve been told that my having that ideal is a bit extreme because what we do is just that; a treat, a happy thing for people to share. Ok, yes, but all things can come to be out of control. And I want nothing of this world to be more out of control than my desiring to draw nearer to God, for him to use me for His glory and purposes.
Now here’s where I get stuck; because of what I just said there, I would totally drop everything and go wherever the Lord says to go. And that is selfish since I have commitments here in this life–like my husband, first and foremost. When I read about Jesus telling the people “Come and follow me” and they do, I admittedly wonder if I would have then, because my mouth and brain thinks I would now. Whoa–AM I now?
But we’re told today “it doesn’t really mean that literally.” Why can’t it? I don’t know. I have to trust for now that God indeed wants me to follow him in light of my current circumstances and be the missionary in my home, to my unsaved husband. I have to trust that the Word in 1 Cor 7:16 is truth, entrusted by God to Paul to be given to believers.
As this virus continues to raise the death tolls and turn the world upside down, I remain quite calm in all of it. Now, I don’t have a family or a traditional job, so therefore am not learning a whole new schedule of how to manage everyone being home. However, even with mostly staying off social media, I still am able to see the ways people are rearranging their businesses to try to stay afloat. They are re-inventing who they are and how they operate, which under normal circumstances I would be totally intrigued by all of this, as well as doing so for our business.
However, I still have no mojo to do so. I’ve shared with my husband that I have some guilt over not trying to be proactive, like we’re just hanging out doing the same thing pretty much, just less of it. But there again is this consumerism part that does not resonate with me. I don’t want to be promoting how you can spend money with me when you are facing financial uncertainty. I don’t want to be encouraging you to go out of your home when you are facing health uncertainty and possible dangers. I don’t want to be acting like business-as-usual when I have to look at my neighboring businesses that are forced to be closed. As I wrote in a business post the other day, “Being ‘ok’ is not ‘all that’ when others around you are not.”
And this, I think, is the round and round we must endure as we live in this life. Our hearts hurt and ache for those around us and ourselves. I ache in this place; I deeply desire to be done on this earth–I can’t wait to meet Jesus! However, until our last breath, we must honor God by seeking him to strip us more and more each moment. How is my life an honor to Him? Am I seeking the things that are eternal in vision?
We are completely mis-fit for this world. But God! In all his wisdom through the life, death and resurrection of his son has granted us his hope, his peace, his love, his mercy; eternal salvation in Christ. THAT is what I need to stay round and round on…my eternal hope. Thanks be to God!
“That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” Eccl 12:13-14
“Oh God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I will praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.”
“Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you?..” 1 Cor 7:16
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” Eph 2:4-7