It’s 3am and I’m awake. I can’t sleep. Statistics of world hunger, human traffiking, and unclean water riccochet around my head. I try to pray, but peace doesn’t come. Eventually work thoughts break through.
Did I email that client? Is my spreadsheet up to date? How much money will actually make it into our personal account this month?
And then other thoughts …
Should I contact the principal about this issue or just let it go? Will my kids be treated poorly if I am too vocal about my disatisfaction? How vocal is too vocal? Did I send in milk money last week? When are the library books due again?
I’m tired. I’m restless. I have this perpetual fear that I’m not doing enough, that I’m always behind, that someone is always failed and it must be my fault.
Yesterday — yes, it was yesterday, since today is officially tomorrow — I admitted to Rick that I had started a new novel, then confessed how guilty I feel about that.
Over the last few weeks … months even, the majority of my reading has been nonfiction. The theme has revolved around social injustices and what Christians can and should be doing about it. The books have described in detail the attrocities taking place against women and children around the world; they have pummeled me with verses that speak directly to these issues and shared stories of people who are making a difference.
A witty American romance novel seems almost cruel in contrast.
Rick reminded me that I’m allowed to rest. He told me of what he has been reading lately (two of his favorite fiction authors) and how it’s okay to enjoy a novel once in a while. Loud and clear, I heard the thoughts in my head respond to him: “Yes, but you don’t have to change the world.”
I had to laugh. It’s okay for Rick to read a novel, but not me? What charges have I received that he hasn’t? We are one here. And why am I taking on the whole world as my personal responsibility?
God, help me to remember that You are in charge, that You are bigger than all these things I worry about, and that I am not alone it wanting to fix them. Even better: I don’t need to fix anything by my own strength and power. One step … one day at a time. My arms just aren’t long enough! My bank accounts not deep enough, my abilities so insufficient … Father, help me to trust You more. Help me to lean on You and Your great wisdom. Oh, Lord, fill me with wisdom. Help those I cannot and help me to know that that is enough. Help me to rest in You.