Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Other Duties as Assigned

"While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as the entered the cloud.  A voice came from the cloud, saying, 'This is my son, whom I have chosen; listen to him."  Luke 9:34-35

I think I am finally coming to the realization that, though there are a number of things I want to do with my life, being a mother is probably going to be the only thing I'll really able to do well and whole-heartedly, for at least the next ten years or so.  I still have many aspirations in my life--writing, sewing, reading, a career in museum programming, to name just a few--but it has been really difficult to make any of those happen lately.  I've really only been able to do any of them with a whole lot of outside help.  Of course, being a mom seems particularly overwhelming right now, as my daughter is currently cutting her two top front teeth...there never seems to be a moment's peace, unless she falls asleep during a walk (which she did just now, hence my having ten minutes to blog!).  But even when she is in bed for the night, I never know when her sleep might be interrupted, when she might need me, when my own list of "to-dos" gets tossed by the wayside.

Technically, I have the choice, even now, of whether or not I want to be a mom.  But emotionally, spiritually, there is no choice.  She is my daughter, and I physically could not give up being her mom, not for any reason, and especially not because I would rather pursue my own aspirations.  And as I said, ten years (or maybe a bit more) from now, I bet I'll still have some of the same dreams, and maybe I'll pick them back up then.

Jesus didn't really have a choice, either, about what He was called to do on this Earth.  But in my nearly 29 years of life, I never thought about the fact that Jesus himself may have had other aspirations and interests.  On the surface, it seems sinful to think that Jesus might have wanted to do something else with His life.  How could He not want to teach, heal, travel, and ultimately save the human race?  That's not a bad resume!  We know that he faced temptation in the desert directly from Satan and was able to resist.  But how many days did He get up in the morning and think, I can't face those crowds again today.  Or, If I have to think of one more analogy to make these people understand, I'll explode!  Or, I'm too tired to even think about sending out any healing power.  In reality, those may have been more difficult temptations to resist than, "Throw yourself down from this mountain."

Of course, we're all better off because Jesus resisted those temptations (if He had them...I could be totally off the mark).  Whether it's being a mother, or the Savior of the world, there are always going to be "other duties as assigned" that we may or may not want to do.  But making that commitment, and sticking to it, is going to leave us all better off in the end.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Weeding Lessons

"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."  Genesis 3:6-7

They say that all things bad appeared after the Fall of Man.  Of course, pain in childbirth, broken relationships, and that biggie, separation from God.  But they also say that the "little" bad things came about with sin, as well.  Things like mosquitoes.  And those infernal weeds.

But I started thinking about this the other day as I was (surprise, surprise) weeding.  I started to wonder if it was really reasonable to think that weeds suddenly appeared after the Fall.  After all, Adam and Eve had always been naked, but they didn't know any different.  They didn't know it was "bad," or something of which they should be ashamed

Maybe the Garden was a big, wonderful place where all of nature worked together in some big, elaborate maze of beauty, in which one couldn't tell where the "real plants" ended and the "weeds" began.  Maybe it was all perfectly harmonious, until Adam and Eve had their Great Moment of Realization.

And now, weeds are bad.  We sit outside, and we break our backs and strain our muscles pulling them out, making way for those "real plants" to grow and thrive.  Many weeds are just as beautiful as cultivated plants, with just as vibrant blossoms, just as fragrant roots.  And they're certainly stubborn and hardy, defying removal.

There's probably another analogy here altogether, about God pruning and weeding the bad things out of us, and I'd buy that, too.  But tonight, I wonder if maybe, just maybe, we work so hard to take out what's considered ugly and make way for what's considered beautiful, we miss seeing God in His completeness.  We miss the idea that maybe weeds aren't that ugly after all; indeed, He created them just as He created fruits and flowers.  And maybe, just maybe, weeds can teach us something about God Himself.