Ever had a boss you just could not please?
No matter what?
I have. I have been a waitress, a cashier, a house cleaner, a secretary, a business cleaner, a librarian, and even had a stint as a sandwich with meat and cheese hanging all whichway.
Yes friends, when you are paying your way through high school you are stupid enough to take a job dressed as a sub sandwich, and you will subject yourself to waving to passerby's hoping they will visit your franchise.
I have had great employers........and not so great.
There are few things more frustrating than trying to please someone whom you cannot understand. I remember working as a business cleaner with some friends and never really feeling like I could do a good job. Oh I cleaned my heart out, but the boss just never seemed happy, like he intentionally had a corner somewhere that unbeknownced to me SHOULD have been cleaned though I never knew it's whereabouts.
Or there was that boss that changed my responsibilities so fast that I was left doing half a job for each task just to make it through the day with every task getting SOME time spent on it.
you get me?
And on the flip side, how much security there is in knowing just what you are supposed to do, how you are supposed to do it, or maybe even a liberty to do the job required how you deem best. Get in, get going, give it your all, close up, go home, feel good. Loved those jobs.
Lately I have been feeling like I have too many plates spinning. I know some are gonna crash. I know it's gonna be messy, but for the life of me I just keep running and spinning them from day to day never feeling like I have gotten enough done when I lay my head on my pillow.
And I am not just talkin' laundry here.
I'm talkin' every room in my house and heart.
This desire to check in with the one who gives me my marching orders began a month or so ago. And I wanted to simplify life again, some soul spring cleaning. I was on a Ladies weekend with two of the bestest sweetest godliest ladies you could ever set your heart on. They were talking, sharing their hearts and I was......... um, doing what I do best.
Crying. And I listened to them and yearned to know what God wanted ME to do. They knew what to do and were doing it, seeing God bless, coming through trials wonderfully. I wept to hear the Lord answer, give, bless, and just plain love them through one mess after another.
When my sobs could not be contained I quietly excused myself to the bathroom of the hotel we were staying at and cried out to my Lord and Master. In my heart the only thing I could ask Him was:
"Lord, what do you want me to do?"
And I was at His disposal. No agenda, no ready made plans on my part. Just one blank page with pen ready to fill up with His "To Do" list for my life.
And He answered.
Like He does.
When we seek Him with our whole heart.
And just like Him.
He is soft and kind.
He told me two words followed by a verse.
I know. I was shocked too. Forgive me? Not "Forgive so and so." "Forgive yourself." Friend the "goodness of God" does lead us to repentance. It leads us to the room with the cobwebs on it that hides our inner most secrets known only to us... and God. And in that one glorious moment there was nothing in that room that needed dusting or the garbage pile. God wanted me to forgive myself and lay down that burden of guilt that I carried all day every day everywhere I went. I brought it to birthday parties, family gatherings, shopping, everywhere. It.was.there. It humbled me, angered me, frustrated the day lights out of me, depressed me, and even made me anxious.
Guilt over silly things, bad things, horrible things, things that haven't even happened but I know they will things. The past was always present with me. And in that moment my mind flooded. I knew what He meant. I knew he had reached into my back pocket and exposed what I had hiding. And I was embarrassed. I said in my heart, "But I deserve to have to carry these. I should be required to bear this." He said:
"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:8.
I was silenced.
Walk humbly with thy God.
It was as if you had Cinderella's cleaning list in your hand and he wiped every job off but three.
Walk humbly with thy God.
Pilgrim from Pilgrim's Progress had to have felt like I did dropping all that baggage off in the hotel restroom.
My spirit soared. The God of the Universe met with me amidst dirty towels and running make up in a hotel restroom. He came to cross things off my "To Do" list. Better yet, He gave me a new one. And it's "Post It" sized.
Life simplified just for me.
Fast forward a month or two.
See me huffing up yet another hill on a five mile bike trail. And yes I am in first gear and way out of shape.
Ok picture me briefly and far off. FAR OFF.
I am sweaty, frustrated at the gnats that swarm me because I am so slow, the kids who keep getting too close to my bike making me yell at them in the perfect "Old Lady stay off my grass" voice, and even at my dear sweet husband who is soo drippingly sweet he would even make Cub Scout Leaders look like criminals. Sheesh doesn't this man ever have a bad day??
I finally got off and walked. Yes I did. I walked up the dumb hill. I waved my hand to half swat the gnats and half tell the crew a mile or so ahead (ok slight exaggeration) that I was NOT in cardiac arrest and that they could go along their merry way without me for a while. (A loooong while) They refused.
They biked ahead. (GRIN)
So it was me and a beautiful woody opening with trees as high as I could see. It was just gorgeous and it was all mine for the taking in this moment of relief from frustration. Frustration with life. Life is hard folks. Add marriage and kids and more kids and more kids and..... well you get the idea. Add low income, high stress and get a sour spirit. Beautiful bike hike? Blah. Kids all smiles in shiny helmets and sweet spirits. Bleck.
So with up-turned nose I stood and He was there.
And he grabbed my list of complaints out of my back pocket. He grabbed my list of things that MUST be accomplished that day, you know while we were wasting time on this bike hike.....
I raised my arms to the sky, forgot about the gnats and said out loud, "Lord, I am trying. Please help me. Just help me."
And he crossed my list out and wrote three things. Three things that are more important than any others. The only things that must be accomplished that day:
Walk humbly with thy God.
I grinned a grin that showed I had been reproved. Again with Micah Lord? Ok.
And I shed some more tears alone in the woods. He bottled them up and gave me strength, renewed strength because I had waited upon Him. (Isaiah 40:31) And with that new strength I got on and biked ahead.
And when I wanted to pick a whole bundle of wildflowers from the Park.....the Lord said:
And I did what was right and snagged a small token to smell as I biked.
When one child could not find their shoes for the tenth time and waded in way past what they should have and came to me in a wet, muddy mess, God said:
So I found their shoes and sat them on my lap.
And when Joel was obviously building a fire the WRONG way, the Lord of mercy reminded me to:
Walk humbly with thy God.
So I helped with a smile and without putting my two cents in.
Tomorrow is a new day. I am reminded that Proverbs 16:9 says, "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." I see where I need to be, but God knows where He needs me to go and patiently gets me there.