I want to write, but any form of social media is really difficult for me to get into recently.
It’s the critic in me, or my sense of discernment, or whatever you want to call it, but anytime I go to share something on any site, I watch myself and suddenly I realize that nobody (including myself) cares about my instavid of my new Nikes on the treadmill. Or I feel like I’m actually typing, “Please validate my existence”, as I type out something like “Y’all know me” on an Instagram.
I’m probably the only person who does that.
I’m so hipster, right?
And so, fighting all my urges to give up on this all together, I return.
It’s Friday night and I have big plans… to stay in. Take a hot bath, maybe paint my toenails, each some comfort food, read; all the classic, girly things that protagonists of teen flicks do after a “rough” day. My day hasn’t been rough, nor has my week been rough. I’m working out again, I just deposited money in the bank that I worked for for the first time in almost two years, I have the weekend off and I’m listening to “Contemporary Bollywood” on my Pandora.I’m just tired out from living what many would consider an underwhelming schedule of American life.
Since my return from Long Island on the 9th, I’ve started working at a local diner bussing tables. It’s about 35 hours a week and it’s not difficult–and I’m exhausted. By the time I reach home at 4 or 5 pm, it’s all I can do to crawl into bed and disinterestedly peruse Netflix and eat something (I’ve forgotten dinner two nights in a row).
This coming from a girl who at seventeen, worked 50 to 60 hours a week, while acing college classes. I’m embarrassed at myself, truly. On top of that, going from spending 80 to 90 percent of my time on others that I felt I was really helping to my entire life being me “trying to get back on my feet and feel normal again”, I can’t help but feel lost and a bit pointless. It’s not that there aren’t places to get involved and help, or people to impact. I’m not saying all Americans are selfish and self-absorbed. I’m just saying it’s difficult for me to not fault myself for resting.
Is it okay to rest?
Is it okay to be still?
Is it okay to not have something going in my life or something that I’m doing that I can look at and feel validated by?
In a world where I so desperately want to avoid Consumeristianity (where it’s adequate to consume scripture on Sunday/Wednesdays without being accountable to putting the principles into action), I’m in danger of the other extreme, where I measure myself on what I bring to the table in my actions. I’m not exactly re-inventing the wheel here and I don’t even claim to have all the answers. I know that as humans we tend to swing to extremes, and I’m more in danger of the latter than the former. So where does that leave me? How can I justify just being at a “selfish” time in my life where I’m going slowly and saying ‘no’ more than ‘yes’, when we all know how much holier it is to say ‘yes’ to everything (please note the slight sarcasm)?
I have no idea.
And then I turn to Matthew 11. There’s a lot going on in the chapter, starting with Jesus revealing John as the one scripture refers to as “the voice crying in the wilderness”, followed by denouncing the towns that had rejected His miracles. The ending verses encompass a familiar passage that any self respecting church-goer has heard at least once. Preceding this verse is the wonderful (and completely related) assurance that God the Father has entrusted everything to Jesus. And then, sandwiched nicely between the oft-quoted phrase is the often forgotten key in resting:
25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
27 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
There’s a reason they called Jesus “Rabbi”. He was Teacher then, and He is Teacher now. I look to Him as the lover of my soul, my Savior, my rock… but how often do I look to Him as a patient and gentle teacher when I don’t know the answers and I just feel stumped? If God the Father has “trusted Him with everything” even the “hidden things”, and I’m invited (or commanded, what a thought!) to come to Him and be taught by Him, why am I sitting around like a big goon asking myself how I’m supposed to know what to do now?
Sometimes I need a reminder of the obvious. I reject the fear of repeating a cliche and I embrace all the peace that comes with the truth of this famous Christian-ese “I don’t know the answers, but I know the One who does”.
There. I said it. I posted that phrase on my blog. And I lived!
Cliches exist for a reason–because their foundation is truth.And the truth is I have no idea what I’m doing next or how to find balance or how to handle 24/7 Internet access again… but I’m going to go to Jesus for my rest here and let Him teach me. He’s my Rabbi. He’s the teacher. I need Him to educate me. I need to be humbled.
So, I’ll accept myself and this new set of circumstances as my chance to learn and live all that out.