My life is wearing me out.
Now that I’ve typed that out loud, it seems kinda funny, because isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? We get here all loud and wiggly and full of energy that we don’t know what to do with, preset to fast-forward, and boom! Eighty or ninety years later, we’re done. Life wears us out.
The ironic part is that it’s not the big stuff that gets me. House fire? Bring it on. Car wreck? I got this. Medical emergency? Let’s take it outside. I am woman, hear me roar. Mind you, I don’t want any of those things to happen. But when they do, I’m a get-up-and-fight kind of girl.
It’s the little stuff that brings me down:
The lost keys I spend ten minutes looking for, only to find them in my purse.
The phone call from my mom I take in the rocking chair on the porch, so I can really enjoy our chat, only to remember an hour later I put a pizza in the oven right before she called.
The windows that are jammed shut when I’m trying to get the smoke out of the house.
The teenager who forgets his homework for the third time this week. (You’re killin’ me, Smalls.)
The clog in the sink after the big meal, when dirty dishes cover every available surface. Just shoot me now.
I’ve always had this innate sense, deep down, that God isn’t finished with me. Pretty obvious observation, yeah. But I guess I’ve always pictured him with a sandblaster or a stick of dynamite, detonating the parts of me that don’t fit with his final picture.
But more often, I think he works with a slow trickle. Instead of a hatchet, he uses a fine wire to scrape and hone and sculpt my life into an intricate masterpiece. Sure, the big tools may cut my stubborn heart down to a more manageable size. But true art is in the small stuff. It’s in the arch of the brow or the curve of the cuticle.
It’s in the tone of my voice, the kindness of my words.
It’s in the tenderness of my thoughts, the softness of my spirit.
And that kind of detail can only be achieved with a slow burn. And God’s tool of choice?
The little stuff. The dirty gym socks in the living room floor. The car who cuts in front of me at the drive-thru. The dog who eats the duck eggs. (But that’s another story for another day.)
As I picture God fine-carving my soul, I wonder if life really wears us out, or if it simply gets us ready for the big debut? I like that thought, that at the end of this journey, I’m not really worn out. Instead, what if my death is like the big unveiling? The point where the master sculptor says, Voila! I’ve worked on her for years, and she’s finally ready. Isn’t she lovely?
I hope that’s how it happens. And I hope that someday, when that time comes, people will remember my soft heart, my tender thoughts, my kind words. From now on, when I get frustrated with the little stuff, I’ll remember he’s using his carving tools to create the piece de resistance:
A beautiful spirit.
In the meantime, if you have any tips for how to help my kid remember to put his homework in his backpack, please let me know.
“For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him,” Philippians 2:13.