Hustling Along to Death

This morning I came to consciousness in a hurry. Literally, I was already rushing to be awake with thoughts crowding up into my mind. The “I gottas” – those things that just have to be finished right away in my life bubbled up and filled my head. As I rolled over and stretched I began to catagorize and prioritize, popping the bubbles on those things I “gotta do” and the thought penetrated my mind that none of this stuff has any long term implications! So then I hacked away at the little stuff and focussed on ‘important’ stuff and that voice that comes from deep inside us said to me: “Andi, you are hustling along to death.” Bam. Slam.

I am unemployed and my days are filled up to the top with reports to gather, bills to pay, a budget to stick to, letters to write, appointments to get to, laundry, dog baths, house cleaning projects, Christmas preparations, committees and my kids. Somehow I thought that if I were not at the hardware store working forty plus hours a week that my life would slow down to a crawl and I would be bored. I should have listened to those folks that are retired saying that they don’t have enough time to do the things that they want to do. I just have more freedom to do ‘stuff’. Do I even sit down and rest with my house guest, Cecy, (who must think I am nuts to work so hard).

Yesterday those “I gottas” gave me a monstrous headache. I realized during the day that I forgot to make a payroll payment last month to the IRS and felt humiliated and foolish. “It is so simple,” I mentally slapped myself, “how could you forget?”Perhaps because I was preparing a detailed report for the bank, one for my company and one for the IRS. I was budgeting our business and my personal life. I was struggling to pull together minutia from 2009 to satisfy a potential lawsuit by an insurance company and saved us thousands of dollars. I was preparing six sermons for the Christmas season and trying to juggle the details of the Advent season. I was trying to find health and life insurance. I was trying to find a job- submitting applications, looking for interviews and working on my resume. Still, in my heart, there was no excuse for this simple committment to never be late with a payment and I whipped myself for my mistake.

The Lord did one of those “what about this” moments while I was starting to punish myself again. He showed me the Patriarchs in the Old Testament. Did Moses rush across the desert for forty years? Did Noah hurry to build the Ark? Did Abraham or David run around tending flocks? I don’t remember any of the prophets rushing and hustling along though history. I know that Jesus rested regularly. He and His disciples retreated to fast and pray even as He walked the road to Jerusalem and death. He came back from the grave to rise and rejoin His Father and He watches over me thousands of years later. “But Lord,” I ask, “will you do this stuff for me then, can you clear my schedule?” and His answer is, “Do you really need to do it?”

I am almost 59 years old. I am in such a hurry all the time that I don’t have time to exercise and eat. I am like the rat in a maze, scrambling through the twisting corners looking for something I can’t quite identify. I have always been in a hurry to finish stuff, to accomplish, to do things ‘just right’. My wiring is probably screwed up in my head. I am always going to rest right as soon as I get the projects all done, working 16+ hours a day. Peace? That is only when I pray and rest in Him. He takes away my sin of self absorbtion. I realized long ago that I am not a particularly comtemplative person but the Lord gave me capacity and ability. When I use my drive and allow Him to steer, I am okay.

“Lord, you are above wonder, beyond awe and past my comprehension. I am humbled by your majesty and by your merciful love for me. I ask that you quiet my brain and show me those things that You want me to do. Lift me from my pit of sin. Protect me from the hustle and bustle of the world and fix my focus on heavenly things. I lay my life at the foot of your throne, I raise my hands empty for Your service. I trust that you will take me, haughty and conceited as I am. Break me and reform me to your Will, because I love you with all of my heart and I desire to serve You only, not the world. I praise and worship You, Father and plead in the name of Jesus Christ my Savior and advocate. Amen.”

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