A few weeks ago, my husband and son found a dried out snake skin right beside our house. My son was excited about their discovery … until I saw it, and exclaimed, ‘Eeew! GROSS!!’ My son quickly agreed, and refused to touch it anymore…
This week I came to the end of … something. Lifestyle maybe. I’ve been living in a state of emergency management where all I do is put out fires. Well, it’s more like… coast and relax … put out a fire … coast and relax… put out a fire. The fires aren’t even out-of-the-ordinary stuff – they’re just normal everyday tasks (or should be) like dishes and laundry and phone calls and filing and bookkeeping and a few monthly deadlines. No big deal – IF I don’t wait until the last minute…
Something has to change. For keeps. I’ve made schedules before and it does work – I’m stress-free and everything is done. Phewf! What a relief. But for some reason, I haven’t been able to stick to it. After about a week, I’m back to same-old emergency management. I labelled myself as ‘disorganized’ and sauntered away, hoping one day I’d ‘get it’. (By pure osmosis perhaps?!)
This week I am … once again … done. No more! God continues to grow me and use me for his purposes. This grows my responsibility too. Eventually, there will be too many fires to put out. I need to get this under control! I think schedules and self discipline are probably the big key. (my nemesises.. nemisi... ?) Anyway, I may have figured out 2 reasons why, so far, scheduling hasn’t really ‘stuck’:
1) It’s so BORING!! To do the same scheduled tasks every week, to continuously plod along… where’s the fun in that?! I want adventure! I want exhilaration! I want the bragging rights of having stayed up until 2:00am to conclude some last minute business. Yes!! Look at me!! I’m a hero!!
One author might call me an adrenaline junkie. Maybe he’s right. I do love the rush… That author’s suggestion is to seek adrenaline outside of my daily tasks and projects. My actions (or lack) in those daily tasks and deadlines affects other people. Save the adrenaline for something that doesn’t impact others. Hmm. I hadn’t thought of that… (does this mean I have permission to start a hobby of … say… paintballing? … could this be construed as permission to buy a 4 wheeler or snowmobile?)
2) Spirit of Self-Discipline? “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and of power and of self discipline” 2 Timothy 1:7. I’ve wrestled with believing that for awhile. I believe it’s true, but what does that look like? I lack it, I want it, and by the power of God I have been given access to it. Hmm. … now to the doing…
Time to shed some old habits. Maybe habits of laziness (the rest-and-relax part of that emergency cycle), and labelling it ‘I’m just disorganized’.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
I read a bit about how snakes shed skin, to compare. The process of throwing off what hinders (shedding) has a few similarities:
- it’s work needed for growth
- it’s a process that takes time
- it’s done often (snakes shed 4-8 times per year)
- young snakes shed more than older ones
- what is shed is ugly and useless
- shedding reveals the new, bright colored skin underneath
Time to let the new skin show; time to grow into the Spirit of self discipline that God has already given me.
Jesus, thank you that you are with me every day – that I get to walk with you, learn from you, and hear your voice. Lord, I’m thankful and excited for what you are bringing me through and preparing me for. I’m also scared I’ll mess it up. Grow me for the task Lord! Don’t let me move forward with old snake skin! I’ll burst! Please show me how to walk in self-discipline, and help me to walk it consistently. Lord, with trembling I pray that you would use my life powerfully to grow your Kingdom – to call your children to you. Thank you for my part! Amen.