April 30, 2014
We’re in the middle of finals week, and I can’t help but take a little break to reflect. As things stand now, I have one final down, one to go and a serious exegesis paper to finish and turn in. This past week, I’ve had strep throat and a cold on top. Add to that some long days at work that don’t pause for finals like the Hamilton campus does and just enough stress to make sleep less refreshing, and life gets a little out of control.
I get sick every finals week. Seriously, every single semester, when this time of year comes around, my body crashes like it’s Y2K. And it doesn’t seem to matter how much EmergenC I take or how religiously I alternate between DayQuil and NyQuil, life slips just beyond the grasp of my control.
I’m starting to think my God’s up to something.
In an already trying season of more work and less play, or more thinking and less sleep, relationships become more strained, words come out more biting, and it seems as if all graciousness is gone. And no matter how much effort I put forth into holding my tongue, studying my Greek flashcards, balancing time between my relationships on campus and my relationship with the library, getting to bed at a promising time, finishing the reading due last week, and still getting all the little life-things done that make us human, too…I fail. I can’t. They don’t get done, relationships are strained, and the fill-in-the-blank answer escapes me.
Having things beyond my control is semi-unfamiliar territory, if I’m honest. I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping my schedule manageable and organizing my time. I like everything to be do-able. I like to be able to manage everything on my own, and I put a lot of pride in my ability to handle my world well.
And then the semester begins to spin towards an end…
And I wake up with a sore throat…
And I stay up too late…
And I snap at my husband…
And I get a cold…
And I’m too tired to study…
And I’m reminded that I never was in control all along. I’m reminded that there’s a pertinent way that our Lord is supposed to be needed in our dailyness.
One thing I’ve said repeatedly to those around me is that I don’t want to be needy. When I say it I mean that I don’t want to be overbearing or a burden. But I think there’s something that reeks of independent western culture: I don’t want to need. I don’t want to need someone or something. I want to do it on my own.
And I’ll try.
Until all the world seems to be slipping away from me. When all my best-laid plans crumble and fail, I’m reminded that I am inherently needy. That I was created to need, and when I come to think that I am not or I convince myself that I am self-sufficient, then I am not living into who I am to be as a child of God.
We are needy beings. We are people who are not in control, people who weren’t made to manage and organize and get by. We were created to trust and lean and depend on the God who gave us challenges and exams and relationships. We are to do what He has given us to do, but to do it from a posture of resting in the knowledge that He is in control.
At the end of the day, no amount of vitamin C is going to be my helper. Only He, the One who knows all my needs and savors my neediness, is my Helper.
“Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.”
Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.
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