I awoke today to the sound of chimes. They were on my smartphone, telling me of the things that need to be done. Now. By hour. It’s the weekend, and yet there are things. I’d love to take slippered feet into the kitchen and make a fine pot of soup for my family, to breathe in and not feel that Saturday is shattered into a million small “hustles” and Jesus is just a piece of a day that has already gotten away from me. A week that has already been filled to the brim. I look at the list and, rather than seeing every opportunity as good, I begin to view each one as “well, when that’s over, I can then…” Even the things that give me such incredible joy are written on that list with the same scrawl as doing laundry or taking out the trash.
And the year has barely breathed her first breath of life. I look at her. She’s laboring.
This wasn’t the way I had planned it when I was making all the plans for 2014. This was the year I was going to manage the days and be in control of my moments. Hell, this was going to be the year even work would be something I did when I felt good and ready to invest the time – when I would select my tasks like one selects the most beautiful of truffles from a candy case.
The year hasn’t even begun, and I’m already tired of it.
And I know what’s wrong.
My word for the year whispers to me: REDEEM.
So 2014 is the year of REDEEM. Redeeming time. Redeeming relationships. Redeeming dreams. Redeeming vocations and avocations. Redeeming talents. Redeeming the finest of detail. Redeeming me. Glorious exchange after glorious exchange. Beauty for ashes. Gold for dross. Cornerstones for rubble. Strength for weakness. Time for time.
Father, before redemption can begin, repentance needs to come.
Please Lord, forgive me for rushing forward with even the desires of my heart that are firmly planted there by You. Forgive me for yielding my life to you in humility, praying diligently about Your purpose, and then not remaining tightly held to You as You build Your house in me brick by brick, ever-so-carefully. Forgive me for grabbing the trowel from Your hand, smiling my such-wise smile, and saying – “I see what you’re doing there, I’ll take it now. Carry on.”
And then watching as the plumb line moves gently to the left.
And I can seek to balance it all; that’s sure to make the walls of my life plumb. Because that’s what we long for, right? Balance. Balance with work and home and family and life. We want to balance our existence with the same ease we balance our bank statements.
But balance doesn’t come when we try to schedule out our live in color-coded increments of reading or running or quality family time. The bricks of balance are stacked like Jenga blocks. We believe we find the secret. And then one brick is moved – and our well-controlled lives come crashing down.
My only true balance will be found when I don’t take that trowel into my own hands. When I allow the same God who is powerful enough to give me life to manage it – and then simply, with heartfelt thanks, follow His lead.
So the repentance comes. The getting off my knees, covered in the mortar of my “what,” and “why” and “how” and “wow” and placing that trowel back in the Hands that are strong enough to hold it.
And then I look in eyes that sparkle. And I ask, “What do You have in store for us today? How will You redeem the time?”
“Love always precedes repentance. Divine love is a catalyst for our turning, our healing. Where fear & threat may gain our compliance, love captures our heart. It changes the heavy burden of the “have-to’s” of imposed obedience to the “get-to’s”, a joyful response to the genuine love of God. It is in the security of this love we find Sabbath (rest).” ~Michael Rose
Are you like me? Do you take your life into your own hands – even when you know better? What is it today that you need to repent of – to place back in the hands of a God who can redeem fully?