There’s the Rub

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I really don’t have the energy to write long today. My emotional fuses are blown. I feel like I’m plugged into so many sockets (not just over-committment but too many “good” things) that my circuitry is fried. Do you know what I mean? In fact, Patrick and I have been discussing joining a small Life Group at church for more intimate connections and spiritual growth. Personally, I have several small group connections with Christian women, but Patrick doesn’t get any of that with other Christian men. However, as I look forward into the week or months and consider which group we can commit to, I panic. The last thing I want or can handle is another emotional connection. That sounds terrible, but it’s true.

That said, as I mumbled and humbled to God about this today, another training similarity came to mind. Somehow, I want someone to just give me the answer. I want someone I trust, or God, to just say, “Abby, here’s the group you and Patrick need to join. You’ll be so glad you did. You’ll both grow together and in Christ by leaps and bounds.” or “Abby, sit tight. God is working right now in your heart and life and marriage. Don’t try to assume one more thing that you think will be ‘good’ for you to do.” But no one is telling me anything – even if it isn’t what I want to hear.

There’s the rub. When it comes to working out, no one can do it for you.  You can’t ask you best friend to do crunches for you. You can’t lose weight and improve endurance by watching your husband go for a morning run.

There’s a gentleman that comes to South Run RECenter that has earned the nickname “Flash” by the front desk staff. Flash comes to the gym daily and contrary to his name, paces slowly up and down the aisles between the equipment and down to the water fountain. No one has ever seen Flash do a single exercise. And Flash looks like he’s put on a few pounds.

In the same way, unfortunately for me, no one can do the tough stuff for me. No one can say, “No.” No one can pick up the Bible study and attend on a Tuesday night for me. There’s the rub. For growth – muscular or spiritual – you have to put in the hours, the effort, the sweat and tears by yourself. However, there is the other side of the coin. You, Yes YOU, will also enjoy the increase – muscularly and spiritually.

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I QUIT, Wait, I Lied… can i have my job back?

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Since we returned from our trip to visit family in Oklahoma and Kansas, I have quit my job five times. To spare myself further embarrassment, I won’t let you read all the emails that I sent to my boss. Here’s an example:

John, I just have too much going on. I have so many commitments and only 24 hours a day and as much as I love working at South Run, I just can’t do it!

Ok, I changed my mind. I enjoy the income and it’s not that many hours. Can I just work on Monday and not on Saturday?

Wait, wait, wait. I need to just quit working. Can I just volunteer? I need the flexibility.

OK, I’m really, really sorry. Just ignore all previous emails and I’ll keep working my regular schedule. Sorry, I’m just over dramatic and easily ruffled. I just had to catch back up with life after being out of town for 2 weeks. I’ll be OK.

What’s really embarrassing, is that I’ve done all this before, at other jobs. I have also applied, gotten hired, panicked and quit before I ever started. I know, by now you’re convinced that I’m a total flake and you’re really glad that I’m not working for you. Right?

Most of my extracurricular activities revolve around my desire to serve Christ and others for the benefit of His kingdom. Whenever I am asked to serve at the church, to help with a particular ministry, to encourage a downcast Christian, to volunteer somewhere or to join another Bible study, I’m loathe to decline.

By Thursday, I was laden with guilt. What kind of a witness for Christ can a flake possibly be? But is it OK to turn down the opportunity to do something for someone else or for a good cause in the name of Christ?

Anxious to serve his Master, [the Christian] finds his strength unequal to his zeal: his constant cry is, “Help me to serve thee, O my God.” If he be thoroughly active, he will have much labour; not too much for his will, but more than enough for his power, so that he will cry out, “I am not wearied of the labour, but I am wearied in it.” Ah! Christian, the hot day of weariness lasts not forever; the sun is nearing the horizon; it shall rise again with a brighter day than thou hast ever seen upon a land where they serve God day and night, and yet rest from their labours. Here, rest is but partial, there, it is perfect.  - Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

So, in the spirit of anti-resolution, I commit to dissolve my over commitments and my self-imposed efforts to further Christ’s kingdom.

Father, use me as much as, and only as much as, you desire. And leave enough of my frail energies as to fully devote myself to fellowship with you!