It’s been snowing. In March. In mid-March. On March 17 when it is supposed to be warm enough to look for four leaf clover. It’s also been cold. And wet. It’s not fun. Snow may be pretty, but it is a immense pain. I am a fair-weather girl and fussing with the elements makes me tense. Who can hike in 10 inches of snow? My time outside drizzles to a few moments under the falling flakes. As an avid outdoors man, a few moments in my back yard are akin to a chocolate chip given to a Ghirardelli connoisseur. It is too little and without flavor.
I stood in my backyard pouting a colossal pout. Yes, pastors do pout. We have those moments when things are not what we want them to be and our emotions show on our faces. Even worse, when you are a pastor like me, your pouting shows all over your body. Arms crossed and lips pressed together, I announced to God and my back yard that I was unhappy. Irritated, I watched my German Shepherds pounce over each other and flip snow as though it was saltwater. Oblivious to my grumblings, they frolicked in the powder. I snorted and tipped my dampening red locks backward to talk to the heavy clouds.
“I have work to do and you are holding me back.”
Grumble, grumble, gripe, gripe. I was not holy and I certainly was not accepting of the growing limitation of my mobility. Powerless to control the weather, I gave up on the clouds, acquiesced to the destruction of my day’s plan and stomped indoors. I brushed off my Uggs and headed for the laundry basket. If I was going to be stuck at home, by golly, I was going to make good use of my time.
See here is the thing. I do not do not getting what I want well. Shocked? My apologies if that unsettles you. The truth is I have a long time, vicious arch nemesis. Me. I fight me all the time…which is no easy task. The She-me of myself is a formidable opponent. She is cunning, smart and determined. She has great reasoning capacity and is a master at rhetoric. Her ability to rationalize is obviously honed from much experience. I stand in my own head often, arguing with her as she sets out to convince me I must have things my own way or life will be utterly unbearable.
She is wrong. She is always wrong. Her reasonings are the spawn of unsound emotional responses and her debate has one goal in mind: Self comfort. It sometimes takes me a while to get to the point that her arguments are not convincing. An internal processor, I pace and I pray and I think-it-through until I simply cannot give myself my way even when my way seems to be easier, less painful, less daunting, less…less…less...of anything that makes me uncomfortable.
The truth is, life is not easy, painless, or comfortable. It is ding dang hard. Even the weather can make things upsetting. Life will not give in to my nemesis, and thus, neither can I. Giving in to my myopic desires does not make things easier in the long run. It forgets that life demands that I think of something other than myself if I am ever going to have that desperately sought out success of looking like Jesus. To get it, I must look outward and shut the door on that enemy within.
While the laundry was sloshing around I stood in front of my wood stove to warm up and take a deep breath before exhaling and telling myself I will not argue with me anymore, and thus, winning the fight. Prayer usually follows when I get to that point. I bowed my soul before my Father God, who knew exactly what the weather would do to me. Surrendering my desire, I sought out his.
I never got to the office. Instead I spent the day doing the unplanned and unexpected. People who needed words were aplenty, and though my tasks were left for a less snow flaky day, I managed to help some who needed it, albeit by internet and text and such.
When the weather went dark I went back out to the yard. Snow laden clouds and inches of the white stuff lit the upper and the lower as I sought out my nemesis. In spite of my pouting, I had not given me my way. I determined to do what life
would allow, and because of it I was pleased not only with the fact that there were people who were having an easier time in their equally frustrated lives; but also with the ability to smirk at the selfish part of me while I told her,
“I was right to tell you no”