Saturday, April 13, 2013

Real life

How is my Listasaurus going you ask? Am I still getting up at 5 am these days?  Is the bedtime ladder being used to great effect to create household harmony? Is my shower beautifully clean?  Are my children happily doing their chores?

My Listasaurus has a thick layer of dust on it. I haven’t managed many 5 am starts at all this year and gave up entirely when I was exhausted by mid-term. The bedtime ladder had to be confiscated because of misuse on the part of the children. My shower looks feral.  And my children haven't cleaned anything in weeks.

This last week, my husband has been away on a course. I can’t tell you how grateful we are for the wonderful provision of this work-sponsored study program! However, the very first night he went away, I was woken at 3 am with a sick child who remained sick for the rest of the week. This morning involved a visit with her to pathology for blood tests and, although I think I see signs she is on the mend, I am tired.

Life never, ever works out exactly as you plan. Never. Getting het up about that is pointless and pretty illogical if you stop to think about it. And yet, of course, I do get hot and bothered about it fairly often. I want to manage life so that the bumps in the road are all of my own choosing and I constantly push the idea that my life is really in my control.

Life isn’t in our control. Not one of us can control the universe so that it obeys our bidding. There’s a very simple proof of this: bad stuff happens to people. Which begs the question of whether this life is a random series of events with some of us lucky enough to have it better than others?  Is there anyone or anything actually in charge of this messy world?

Obviously, a busy week and busy term barely rate on the scale when I consider what kinds of suffering are all around us. This same week amongst our church family we’ve had a funeral and another member sick in ICU. Friends with seriously ill children, relatives dealing with cancer and people just alone and sad.  I don’t have to be enduring a big crisis personally to be aware that life is difficult.

Real life does not follow the rules. It refuses to bend to my will. It reminds me that I am not in charge. But I do believe I know the one who is and he is the same one who says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”*  At the end of a long week, there is rest for me because I am able to lay down my burdens, my fears and my failures. I don’t have to carry them. He deals with them. His shoulders are big enough to bear the responsibility for my small disasters and even the great suffering in this old world. All of this real, messy, stinky, painful, joyful and plain-old ordinary life is under his care.
*Matthew 11:28


Petrina said...

I'd wondered just a couple of days ago if the bedtime ladder was still working. What happened?

Hang in there :)

Deb said...

The boys were sneaking up and changing everyone's times while I wasn't looking. It was usually happening when everyone was at the top of the ladder (and therefore not in trouble) and one of the boys would stand on a chair and move one of their siblings down a few notches. Then they'd run and tell them, "Hey! You're down the bedtime ladder!!!" This child would then get angry and defensive and general yelling, blaming, dobbing and grumpiness would break out like a plague. So I pulled it down for the moment so that they couldn't keep taunting each other with it. Really, kids will use anything they can to provoke their siblings! But by that stage, we'd pulled everyone back into line again so it'd had done it's job for the moment and I've kept it safe for the next time we need a crackdown.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that post.


Karen said...

Great post, Deb. Our bedtime ladder is also having a break...I was thinking it might be one of those tools that comes back into vogue for a few weeks on more of an intermittent basis when cracking down is required. And I do confess I'm having a bit of a giggle about them moving eachother down the ladder even though I can totally get why the fallout from that would not be so funny....