I have been consumed…. I’m a task oriented/driven person. When I see a task or project, I grab it and do whatever it takes to complete it. I hunger for knowledge and I strive constantly to perfect my competence at all I do. I’ll admit I’m a perfectionist and hold an extremely high standard of performance for myself. These things are not necessarily good or bad. They’re just a part of how I was created. However, I so very easily become out of balance in my life. I can focus on tasks, knowledge, competence, performance and not pay enough attention to having the right priorities.
Many of you know that the past few years have seen me focusing on work to the detriment of my physical health, stress level and, most of all, my spiritual health. I’ve justified this in many ways and, as all things I do, I did even that well. Haha. You know you’re overly consumed with work when even your bosses try to set better boundaries for you and start giving directives to take time off and to relax. But even when I tried to relax, I found my thoughts constantly returning to work.
I have a God Who loves me so much He sent His Son to die for me. He has and is always there for me and the God of the Universe wants a relationship with me – a sinner who continually sins. I have a husband who loves me and has taught me the meaning of the word cherish. He is so kind and thoughtful; so sweet and generous. I have family who love me; friends who care for me; a beautiful home where I am loved and safe; a job that’s structured in a way that is tailored to my personality and strengths along with my passion and calling; and so many things every single day for which I’m thankful and which make my heart smile. Yet, with all of that, I still didn’t set good priorities.
For the past few months, I’ve been praying that God would help me seek Him more – that I would return to placing Him first in my life and that my passion for Him would grow. During that time, I heard sermons on setting better priorities and increasing time with God, read things that reminded me to set better priorities and increase time with God, heard songs that reminded me to set better priorities and increase time with God and…. You get the picture. Yet, no matter how convicted I was and no matter how much I told myself I would start tomorrow, I continued to allow my thoughts and passions to focus on work. Hard headed….
So, I fell. I actually, physically fell. Down the stairs. Hard. And I broke my pelvis. A little over four weeks ago, I’d just finished preparing for Wednesday night orchestra rehearsal during which time I prayed I would glorify Him and, as I was walking down the stairs to meet my husband to go to church, one of my little dogs accidentally tripped me and I fell.
Since that time, I’ve been sitting still. Being still. Not able to even shower by myself. Dependent for everything. Do I need a drink? I have to request one from someone. Am I hungry? Another request. I’ve been able to continue working during this time as I can telecommute as needed but everything else is out of reach.
My husband has been his normal self – loving, caring, thoughtful, kind, generous, and sweet. He has carried me to the shower and the restroom. He has helped me dress and helped me be as comfortable as possible. He has prepared my meals and has come home from work every day at lunch just to ensure I eat and that I’m ok. He has not once complained nor have I detected any unwillingness to help. He actually seems to take a lot of joy in serving me in this way. All of it has been given freely and lovingly. But here I sat, day after day, pouting… The pain has not been easy but the emotional toll of this has been so much harder.
As I’m prone to do, I finally began to research ways I could do this better – always performance driven. I was going to be the so very good at this healing process. I started air boxing from the chair to increase my fitness. I started counting calories again to help counteract the weight I’d put on over the past few weeks. And I started a structured Bible study. It was during one of those daily lessons that I heard Him clearly – Be still and know I am God and all else comes from that. Be still and trust I have you. Be still and focus on what I have given you. Be still and know what I have done and continue to do. Be still.
I hear you, Lord. So far, so good. I’m not grinding my teeth at night. I’m able to turn work off. Surely I’ve learning my lesson…. See how well I’m doing this…..
Today, I saw the doctor. I’m healing well but have another 2-4 weeks of this. What I realized at that moment is that I’m not yet ready to be still on my own. Not yet ready to set the right priorities on my own. Not yet ready to focus on the important things by myself. And then, I realized the next step– I will never be able to do those things on my own. It is not a task, a project, or something I can do. I’m not even sure it’s anywhere in my nature as those of you who know me can attest. However, the joy my husband seems to take in being able to help me, to show his love to me, during this time of necessary dependence, is a picture of how God wants to help me with being still, setting right priorities, and focusing on the right things always. I will always be dependent on God. I’ll always need Him to help me be still. I’ll always need Him to focus me on knowing Him and following Him as those things are not in my fleshly nature. But they are in His nature and He, Who began this work in me, will be so very faithful to continue this work and grow me to maturity. How awesome is that?
Please, Lord, may I be still. May I grow to know You more each day. Let me be consumed with You.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him, it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” Lamentation 3:22-26