I’m Losing It!
My obnoxious alarm clock is screaming at me after what seems like one minute after I fell asleep. I have a job to report to and so does my wife. It’s time to pack lunches, start a load of laundry, and make sure the puppy is taken outside and fed before we go. Some kids need time to do their hair and make-up, and we’re trying to make sure they eat breakfast. Our kids have three different buses to catch at three different times and locations. There’s the early High School bus, then the Middle School bus, and finally the Elementary School bus. We rush through the busy school/work routine and somehow manage to get there on time, wherever “there” is. My family is tucked safely in bed one moment and scattered throughout the community the next!
We arrive home, you guessed it, at multiple times throughout the afternoon or evening and dive into an even more vigorous routine of homework, dinner, family events, prayer meetings, driving kids to Boy Scouts, karate, PT jobs, youth group, etc. Not all are happening the same day, but you get the picture. In the middle of our busy evening routine, my youngest angel is yelling from the basement, “Spider! Dad! Can you get the spider?” From another room someone is asking a small favor, “Dad, can you take the puppy outside, I’m busy with homework right now.” I hear the stove timer beeping from the kitchen saying, “You might want to remove this food from the oven, like now, Mister, unless you like it super crispy with a burned flavor!”
Since I’m an awesome man of God, so my response is, “YES, of course sweetie pies, let me capture the spider, and walk the dog, while trying to help make dinner!” I wish that was my response. Sadly, my response is one of irritation and frustration which later calls for apologies and asking for forgiveness. I have a problem, but it’s hard to identify just exactly why my joy is gone. As I’m walking the next day, trying to be faithful to spend time with God, I’m feeling His thoughts and perspectives permeate my brain and my loving, heavenly Father says to me ever so kindly, “You’re an addict!”
“What! I mean, seriously! Thanks for the encouragement God! Just what exactly are you talking about?”
My Papa God, continues to arrest me with this idea, “You’re addicted to your own selfish desires, and your selfish nature wants what it wants when it wants it, and it’s time to lose it, my friend.”
“Lose it? I’ve had a few moments where I’ve lost my joy and lost my temper! Hmmm, probably not what you’re talking about right now.”
Luke 9:24 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”
Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regarding one another as more important than yourselves.”
I like my time, my space, my schedule, my mine. I like when everything goes as planned with no interruptions. I like when everyone is doing exactly what they should be doing so I can keep doing what I want to do right now. Where is joy to be found in daily living? It’s not that complicated, my friends. It was just complicated for me because of my addiction to self. Jesus found joy in serving mankind, even laying down his life so we can live eternally with him. Hebrews 12:2 … who for the joy set before Him endured the cross …
“OK, God, I need your help. Show me how to crush my selfish nature and find true joy in serving others, especially my wife and kids. Help me to see the interruptions as an opportunity to love my family and those around me. Instead of grumbling that I need to drive my daughter 45 minutes away for an appointment, help me enjoy the time we have together to connect and talk, in spite of the horrendous traffic at rush hour! Help me to be the chivalrous Dad I’m called to be, and joyfully catch the spider and rescue my girl from the jaws of death without complaint! OK, that’s a bit dramatic, but thank you Jesus for your complete lack of selfishness in rescuing me and always being willing to spend time with me, night or day. I need your grace and your help to portray Your nature to all those around me. Thanks God.”