Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am... like Charlie

Am I talking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? No, but who wouldn't want to live next to a chocolate waterfall!

I'm talking about the Charlie from Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom by L.M. Alcott. I read her books as a young girl, and her description of one of the cousins, Charlie, as he lay dying has always stayed with me. Alcott wrote, "But Charlie bore it manfully; for he had the courage which can face a great danger bravely, though not the strength to fight a bosom-sin and conquer it." He could face the big things in life like death with courage and heroism, it was the little things that were his undoing.

This is me. I am always looking for the next big thing. I can do the big gestures, make the big sacrifices, but I get stuck in the mundane parts of life. Big things inspire me, bring out the best in me, but to faithfully follow through day after day with duty and the mundane... I struggle. 

I definitely am - or was? - a "fool's rush in" kind of gal. There is a cost for all things and so far I've had to pay far more than I could afford. I now have heart-debts that will never completely go away. There are still moments when I want to jump in, but I have changed, matured... become afraid. There are moments when I still long to do great things, but doubt paralyzes me.

If my plans are not of the Lord, they will fail. I know this full well. I just keep feeling the Lord telling me to wait, and I am afraid that my life will be like Sarah's, on hold for 25 years. Like me, she didn't want to wait and now we have an enduring conflict between two peoples, descendants of Ismael and Isaac. How long must I wait? I am afraid that I will not be useful to the Lord until I am old. Moses spent 40 years in the desert before God called him at 80. Oh dear. Jesus started at 30, that makes me feel a little more hopeful, but King David never got to do what he wanted the most, to build God's temple. And some people only ever did one big thing, that we know of at least - Gideon, Esther, Noah. Was God pleased with what they did for the rest of their lives? I wonder.

I love my child(ren). I am blessed to be able to stay at home. I am grateful for all that I have been given, and for second chances. Despite this, all the good I know I have, life still seems bleak to me sometimes. My current life is great, yet I never imagined this being it. I am used to having a big dream to hold onto to get me through the have-to-do things, but now I have none.

If there is something else out there for me to do, what am I supposed to be doing while I wait?

The answer that keeps coming back to me is all those little things, exactly what I struggle with the most. I think of the verse (Luke 19:17) that says something like, "he who is faithful in little will be given much." Why should I expect the "much" when on some days I can't even successfully manage with the little I have? My husband asks me this all the time. I don't know the answer to that, since logically there is none. All I do know is that there is a yearning in my soul for more.

Because that's my real question, right? If it's not big, it's not enough? I've known the Lord since I was little, am the daughter of parents in full-time ministry, have been waiting to grow up all my life so I could finally do something, then messed up when I had the chance. Where are the masses I should have led to Christ? I look back and there is nobody there.

What's that, Lord... You delight in me... me?

Perhaps there is still something big left in my future, but I don't need to do it to earn God's approval. I am already accepted, already loved.

But I wanted to make You proud, Lord.

He whispers to my soul, "I already am, dear daughter of mine."

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