Jul 3, 2012 6
I want my life to work out after the first try. Who needs the mess that follows when I can’t get my work, my chores, and especially my relationships right on the first try? I sure don’t.
The power outage this past weekend really threw me for a loop. I got a lot of things wrong. My routine fell to pieces, including the parts where I pray and read the Bible. We started the weekend trying to help some friends move, and two afternoons in the heat did a number of me when I couldn’t go anywhere to cool down.
New chores were added, such as moving the rabbits to the basement, buying ice for the food that didn’t spoil, washing all of the containers that had spoiled food, washing clothes by hand, setting up an air mattress in our living room because the bedroom was too hot (especially for my pregnant wife who is due in 2 weeks), and even packing our bags to sleep at a friend’s house on a hot, muggy night. Sleep has been limited to say the least for both of us.
Each extra plate I had to wash. Every trip up the steps to our steaming upstairs. Every time I sat on the couch and couldn’t cool down. Every chore I couldn’t complete for our soon to arrive son. It all added up.
The meltdowns were small and quiet, save for the time I broke a glass container after washing another mountain of dishes.
I’ve had zero creative reserves. I keep thinking about the list of things I wanted to do in the nursery. I keep thinking of the essential parts of my routine that I’ve been skipping. I keep wondering when I’ll feel creative and able to think again.
I know I’ve been short with my wife. I had zero capacity for small talk at church or at our church’s picnic. Even the little things around the house take on ridiculously enormous significance when you’re sweltering and trying to plan for a baby and to get your freelance work in order before one of the most important moments of my life.
I wish I could have done a better job on the past four days. I want to take them, crumble them up, and toss them away. I see a ton of failure, aggravation, and confusion. I’ve never struggled to write like I have over the past four days.
I think I tend to treat these kinds of weeks like a first draft. I lament that I’ve failed, that a new chapter of my life has been written beyond repair. The reality is that we get second and third drafts in life. The failed drafts hurt, but they are drafts, not finished works.
There’s nothing all that pretty about the past few days. I hate to think that I’ve failed others. But I’m not done. God’s not done.
There will be lessons learned, new opportunities, and another morning to sit in prayer, to worship, to
New adversities will come up, and I’ll have another chance to get it right, to bless when I want to curse. Maybe I’ll be able to see past my own worries into the pain and struggles of others rather than just moping around like dead weight.
I’ll pick apart that horrible draft from the past four days, and realize how much I tried to carry on my own. How I struggled to be kind to others. How little I trusted God.
It’s the nature of God’s forgiveness and patience to review our failings, to smooth out those crumpled drafts of our lives, and to bring out a fresh, clean page where we can begin a new draft that will be stronger because of the weakness of yesterday.
Strength in weakness is a ridiculous concept in my eyes, but perhaps I can only accept God’s strength after failing on my life’s first draft.