There is always a lot of talk in the news one way or another about leaders, and who gets to be in charge. Especially recently. It is so important to us humans who gets the power and the authority. Who gets to be the boss.
Well, I have come to find that one of the ways that God shows love towards me is by NOT letting me be the boss.
I wish I could be a good boss. It feels so good to be in control, calling all the shots. But I fail so miserably. Time and time again. And I realize how good it feels to crawl into the safe arms of a good Dad and just let him take over. I wish I could start there. I wish I could start with a heart posture of submission and servant-hood. I mean, I do love God, and I do start every day (well mostly every day) wanting to serve Him. But do I ask, “HOW Lord, how would you like me to serve you today?” “What is first and foremost on your heart?”. No. No, I don’t. Not even close. I just go for it. Whatever I think is a good idea.
And then I reap the fruits: anxiety, stress, feelings of being overwhelmed, fatigue, exhaustion, burnout. Just a month ago, I was lying in bed at ten o’clock in the morning, having gone straight back to bed after getting the kids off to school. I was numb, depressed and exhausted, after months of running full steam and cramming as much into every day that I could manage. And I had to ask myself….How many more times am I going to end up back here? Wasn’t my very last blog post following another burnout?!
It is humbling and very … well, humbling. No, even in my serving and loving God, I make a terrible boss.
As our good friend Dr Seuss would possibly say if he were me:
“I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like being told to do, I do not like being told how to.
I want to be the boss, I do!
I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam-I-am!
Or perhaps this is more accurate: “Wretched woman that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death!” (St. Paul in one of his letters)
But God is very good, and very faithful. The issue of Lordship does NOT come naturally to us humans. We rebel at the thought of surrendering our lives to someone else. Actually, I am OK with surrendering my life to God in some ways. Like, in terms of living an upright life. Some things just make sense if you think about it: don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t kill…. It’s not rocket science. Even “forgive”, or “turn the other cheek” – super hard to do, but I don’t have a basic problem with the idea.
However, this reality?! – “Shirley, apart from me you do not know how to find peace. You cannot make good decisions on your own. Fundamentally you are weak, selfish, broken. Bent towards self-destruction.” Ummmmmmm…. Nope. Nope. NOPE.
I keep thinking subconsciously that if I can just keep living my life the right way, better and better according to God’s ways, be more and more practiced as a Christian, the less and less input I will need from God. And God is like, Ummmmmmmm….NOPE.
He is literally the life source within me. I need his hands on the wheel AT ALL TIMES. I am like an old Karoo farm vehicle that needs its wheels aligned. If you let go of the steering wheel it goes into the bushes.
I am like a toddler learning to walk all over again. But God is so gracious with me. He keeps teaching me to come back to him for guidance and wisdom, and not to take my eyes off him in the first place. I make a terrible boss. Thankfully God is the best boss. And he’s not only an awesome boss, but he’s the janitor too. If I make a mess doing what he’s asked me to do he cleans it all up. Phew! What a relief! What an antidote to stress and anxiety, having such a great boss!
Love looks like a lot of things, but today for me, it looks like ultimate authority. Coming to God and inviting Him to speak, to form and create within me, to set the parameters of my life and to guide my thoughts and attitudes. His love is so good and perfect that he relentlessly forbids me from moving out from under his protective leadership, an awareness of His GODNESS and my NOT-Godness. Which is why I guess he made it the first and second commandments. Thank you, God, that you are the boss, and we are not.