Doesn't that sound like a fun thing to blog about? I never give it much thought because, you know, I'm already a grown up with grown up responsibilities. So when they did a series at church entitled "Taking Responsibility for Your Life" several weeks ago, I thought, "I'm pretty responsible. I probably won't get much out of this."
Honest, I did.
I mean, I've always been that person who clung to her daily planner because I had so many various things I was responsible for. What more did I need to know?
(Can you just picture God laughing at me right now?)
But Andy Stanley knows how to work underneath what you think you know about yourself. And here it is, months later, and I'm still wrestling with what I learned that day.
I nodded along as he talked about all those people who do half their work, pointing out that someone has to pick up the slack when they don't finish their job. I've been the slack-picker-upper, so I wanted those people to get this.
But the more he talked, the more I realized another voice was trying to say something to me. A voice I wanted to swat away as if it were a fruit fly bobbing around my head. (Sorry, Holy Spirit, sometimes what you have to say doesn't make me feel good. And I don't like having to face my issues...but then, who does?)
The thing is, I am responsible in all the things people can see. I show up on time (usually). I get my work done. I live by my deadlines. I pay my bills when they're due.
But what about those things, the HS asked, that people don't see? For instance, my health.
I've been at war with myself over this slipped disc/back issue for months and I think a part of me didn't want to face that it might be within my power to do something about it. I'd half-heartedly started yoga but quit when I got bored and just a few weeks later, my back went out again. I've given up soda more times than I can count (and I really like Dr. Pepper)... I've quit sugar for months at a time, noticed how good I feel only to let it creep back in over and over again.
But this message, for whatever reason, pinpointed two distinct areas in which I haven't been responsible, my health being the most important. This revelation was compounded this summer when five people I know were diagnosed with cancer. Five.
I don't have any idea why some people get cancer and some people don't. I hate that there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of it, but I do know that it made me look at my own health and all the ways I've abused my body over the years.
I started to see that while, of course, there are areas of my body I'm not crazy about, God made us to be pretty darn amazing. Our bodies fight and heal and process and it's nothing short of miraculous.
Every. Single. Day.
And I don't know why, but it dawned on me that if I'm given a miracle I don't want to take it out back and beat it up every morning. And just like that, in this quiet moment of revelation, I decided to stop hating and to start loving. To stop tearing down and start nourishing. And yes, I've been here before, but if I'm honest, my desires were always rooted in vanity.
Now, my desire is to be a good steward of the days I've been given because those days are short and because life is a gift. We aren't entitled to it. How dare I take one single moment for granted?
You can imagine that this revelation has all but wrecked me and I'm still sorting through it, but it's big and it's real and this time, there's more than just a new outfit or a lower dress size at stake.
There's this beautiful gift of life and I want to live the very best of it.
No matter what it takes.