My kids favorite ride at the fair is the carousel. Round and round, up and down. Constantly spinning…and going nowhere.
I can’t help but think lately my life is a lot like that carousel. Round and round I go. And never getting anywhere.
Pretty from a distance. All sparkly, shiny and perfect. But upon closer inspection, you find the dents, scratches and realize that pretty little pony is actually a hard, lifeless piece of plastic with lots of grimy germs from dirty little hands holding on for dear life.
Yes, I feel like that pony on the carousel some days. Hanging on for dear life. Always spinning and really getting nowhere.
Pretty on the outside (some days) and others…not so much. And if you actually got close enough you would see the dents and scratches. If you were one of the “fortunate” few I ever let get that close. That’s not what I want you to see, though. I don’t want you to know that I struggle. I fail. I fall. I have lots of dents and scratches. And I can be pretty hard sometimes.
Hard to love. Hard to befriend. Hard on you. Hard on myself.
Coffee only has two ingredients, as I was reminded the other morning. So why would it be so hard for me to remember to include the water when making coffee the night before? Shouldn’t be, I said. Shouldn’t be.
Round and round and going nowhere.
My mind is a fog. I hear screaming children. My phone keeps beeping. My computer constantly calls me to “check-in.” Where are all of my husbands clothes? I know I just washed, but somehow there are seven dirty shirts. Did I miss a day this week? Did I miss the entire week? Where was I?
Hard on myself. I should be better at this than I am. I should have this “all together” now. I am a strong woman. No roaring here. Just a few racking sobs.
Then my pity party reaches it peak. I deserve better than this. I work hard and nobody appreciates it. I cook (supper…and if you’re lucky you get an egg in the morning). I clean (occasionally). I wash your clothes (when I remember).
I love you. I really, really love you. I want to be more for you. For our family. For my friends. For myself.
Then I realize, that’s the problem. I’m so busy just being busy, I’m not living. Not really living. Not for Who I’m supposed to be living for. I get caught up in all the distractions and forget what I’m really here for.
My life is not my own. It will keep going round and round and going nowhere.
If I let it.
One day I have to get off the carousel. I have to say that the ride is over.
I have to grow up. And start living for the One who gave me Life.
So today I want to make a commitment to get off the ride.
I know who I am. Jesus knows who I am. I can rest in the assurance I was made by a Creator that put me together just exactly how He wanted me to be.
And so can you.
“…I am fearfully and wonderfully made… ” Psalm 139:14
What a relief, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. What does that mean? It means my Creator put time and energy and thought into my existence. My being. My God-breathed life. He made me to live. For Him. Through Him. Not to spend my existence going round and round, getting nowhere, doing a million things and at the same time doing nothing.
We may be tempted to get back on the ride. It looks so pretty, doesn’t it? It beckons to us just like that carousel at the fair calls my children. But it’s not a ride that takes us anywhere.
Take your dented, scratched, perfectly imperfect self and get off the ride.
I say to myself. Get off the ride.
All the business of life just keeps us from going where we really need to go.
And doing what we really need to be doing.
Seeing what we really need to be seeing.
Feeling what we really need to be feeling.
I want to be here for my family. REALLY be here. Not just my body, but my mind and my soul.
I want to SEE all there is to see that needs to be seen.
My hurting friend, my lonely child, my neglected husband.
I want to FEEL what I need to feel. Not the numbness that comes with being “out of touch.”
I offer a prayer for me and for you if you ever find yourself where I have…
Help me to BE present. In the here and now. To experience what YOU have prepared for me to be a part of. I know you are working around me. All times. All ways. And at this very moment you have something for me to do. Lord, don’t let me be too busy that I miss it. That I miss out on the small moments that make up the whole. That I would look back one day and say I missed it. I was there, but I wasn’t’ there. I want to be HERE NOW. I want to FEEL NOW. I want to SEE NOW. With your hands, your eyes, your heart. Father, for lack of a better way to ask, I just ask you to HELP me. Help me SEE. FEEL. BE. I ask for GRACE to live for today, not in yesterday or for tomorrow, but FOR TODAY. One moment at a time. For the ones you GAVE me. The little arrows in my quiver you gave just. to. me. Created in your image. Help me lead them to their Father, that one day they would truly be YOUR children. That’s my call. That’s my job. Dear God, don’t let me ever forget that. To never get too busy to remember that.
Your daughter asks forgiveness for living so hurriedly. For missing what has been right in front of me. For getting so caught up in self, I forgot who self was.
In Jesus Name I Pray,