Some days, I wonder whether I am supposed to be coming or going. Life just seems to get more complicated and more chaotic the longer I live. Last night, I had the chance to have a nice long talk with my BFF (not that I knew what that abbreviation meant when I met her LOL). When she and I met as freshmen in high school, little did we know that 30 some years later, we would still be friends. The kind of friends that can live together and not kill each other. The kind of friend that can go years without talking and then get together and talk like we just had a sleepover the night before. God blessed me with this friend who accepts me as I am, warts and all, and with whom I can talk about ANYTHING. Well, during our conversation, she mentioned to me that she has been reading my Facebook posts and these blog posts and can’t believe that I get everything done that I mention. She even laughingly said that I must be Wonder Woman. HA! We both got a good laugh out of that one because we both know that I’m not even close to being a wonder woman. All I can do each day is to tackle any task that is in front of me and needs done now. Period. In fact, it drives my hubby nuts that I don’t look ahead more often and plan things out for the future more than I do. There just isn’t time.
Life is chaos. Life is crazy. There is no debate in those facts. Living in the world today, with five children, all of which are girls and homeschooling them on top of it against the advice of many of our friends and family, is crazy. Agreed! That is a fact that I will not dispute. Add to that the fact that we own and run our own business, juggling employees, inventory, schedules, government regulations, and so much more along with the rest of our life just means that life is a chaotic crazy. BUT, I firmly believe that all God asks of us is to do what we can at any one point in time and to do our best.
In today’s Gospel reading from John 8, I feel for the Jews that Jesus is talking with. They are living life to the best of their understanding and doing what they know. Then, Jesus comes along and blows their minds.
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
They knew that their ancestors had been enslaved, but that wasn’t their experience. To their knowledge, they were already free, so why would Jesus come and tell them that they will become free? Nothing that they knew could explain what Jesus was saying. What is happening in this passage is really a type of miscommunication. All of us come to understanding based upon our own perspective. All that we have and all that we know comes together into our own unique perspective. No two people will have the same perspective. This is readily seen when you interview two different people who witnessed the exact same event and you hear two different stories about what happened. So, Jesus coming from His great understanding of life since He was the Son of God and these Jews who were coming from their limited life experiences and traditions they had been told were coming from two different perspectives and just were not understanding what the other was saying.
This is life. Living with one husband, 3 teenagers, and 2 younger elementary age children along with a dog and a cat and going about our daily life of schooling and work includes one example after another of this very reality. I am thankful daily that we have a Tradition and the Scriptures to help us understand what Jesus is saying. For I am too much like the Jew who is only seeing life from my limited myopic vision. Sometimes, I am thankful for having that myopic vision as it allows me to tackle all of the different things that I tackle in one day. By only seeing what is in front of me at any one time, I can focus on that one thing at that moment and not freak out with the to do list. I do occasionally make a “complete” to do list as I am cleaning off my desk, but it fills pages of a legal tablet and just overwhelms me. So, I have learned to make notes on each day of what is going on that day and each “area” of my life has a different folder so that I only open the folder being used at any one time. I do usually also have a post-it note or two (or three…) on my desk of the IMPORTANT tasks that need done and I can’t forget to do. Through prayer and reflections like this, I put my trust in God that He will guide me to what needs to be my focus.
But, I also know that even I, Wonder Woman :-), have limits. When the chaotic craziness gets insanely crazy and begins to affect my most important relationships (God, hubby, kids), it is probably time to either say no to a few more things, delegate more things, OR hire another person to take on some of the insanity. Again, that is where prayer comes in. Prayer and reflection can help to determine if you are doing too much and need help or if you just need to clear your windshield/perspective up a bit to see a bit clearer at the big picture. The challenge of course, is to keep our perspective’s windshield free of dirt and bugs so that our view is the same as God’s. Or at least as close to clean and bug-free as a limited human can get.