When It Is No Trouble At All

27 04 2010

“Considering what I have done for you, is it really too much to ask?”

I have said this. It is usually directed towards one or more children who are complaining about some menial task I have asked them to do; usually their complaining takes longer than the task itself. The thing about being a mom is that you are always one up. If the child has cleaned up the dishes 3 days in a row, you have cleaned up the dishes 3,000 days in a row; things always lean in your favour. So then you pull out the big one:

“Considering what I have done for you, every single day while you have been alive on this earth, you’d think that you could clean out the dishwasher — which will take you under 7 minutes — without complaining. Really,  is that too much to ask?”

Everything is so crystal clear to me when it comes to correcting the attitudes and behaviours of my children, but when I am the child, there are things I spend more time complaining about than doing. I know I can’t support this Biblically, but I am pretty sure God rolls His eyes at me in those times when I am wearing Him out. He pleads, “…give your body to God. Let it be a living and holy sacrifice––the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?” (Romans 12:1).

It’s not too much to ask, it’s just that I lack in staying power. I keep crawling off the altar (especially if I get bored or mad or lonely or hungry or disgruntled or insulted or confused or tired or uncomfortable or distracted or embarrassed or tempted or…you get the idea). I am (not exaggerating) a short-term-project person. Ask anyone in my family. Anything that requires a lot of patience and I find finicky, tedious, or BORING gives me hives. I don’t bake things that are tiny and require icing. I don’t cook things that have 17 steps.  I don’t knit. I don’t scrapbook. I do not garden. And I nearly had to take Nitroglycerin tablets over our recent grouting project (kitchen backsplash – Liza Tough, Queen of Do-it-yourself projects, hats off to you).

Here’s the problem. In God’s wisdom and sense of humour He gives me things that go against my grain. He knows me and He knows my gifts and abilities (better than I know them) but it isn’t about me just becoming better at them, it’s about becoming better with Him.

Recently I have really, really been questioning some of the directions He has taken me in but it occurs to me that God has deliberately taken me to places that He knows I am going to complain about. He knows I will complain and be frustrated because here I cannot rely on what comes naturally. In my frustration, I am going to talk to Him way more than I might otherwise have. I am going to say, “God, I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t even know if I LIKE where you have me…”

“Yeah, well, will you stay on the altar or will you only love Me when you like where I have you? Will you give your best effort when actually it is effortless for you? Will you only be a living sacrifice, when it is no sacrifice at all?”

— Teresa Klassen

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