Or, in the wise words of Dallas Willard: “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
There is no quick fix to falling in like with your own life. If you don’t like your life that much at the moment it’s probably because you are already too busy, too overwhelmed and desperately in need of sleep.
Taste cannot be savored while food is being gulped down, and no mind can embrace a revelation or idea while spinning in a thousand directions.
You have to slow down and really pay attention to notice the sights, smells and sounds around you. You have to take notice of the people who make up your little world. Do you see the lines deepening on your father’s brow? Have you seen the wrinkles increase around your mother’s eyes? Do you hear the joyful chatter of birds outside your window in the morning. It requires focus to block out all of the static, interference, and noise from the word to be able to hear the still, small voice of God.
Choose the best part:. Martha or Mary?
I was reading through John 11 recently when my eyes fell on the words: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” Jesus loved Martha. Somehow, I always just assumed that Mary was Jesus’s favorite. However, I failed to realize that Jesus loved Martha just as much as Mary, and nothing she did could make him love her less or more. Jesus did not choose Mary; Mary simply chose Jesus. Likewise, we have the opportunity to choose the best.
“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:42
Scratch the lists
I’m not referring to your grocery list – we all need those. I’m talking about all the lists in your head of all the things you need to do or own or be before you would even consider “liking” your own life.
To illustrate my point, I’m scratching the rest of this list! In fact, the perfect recipe for liking your life has not yet been concocted. Nevertheless, all the ingredients you need are readily available. Some of them have been chosen for you and others are the leftovers of decisions you made in the past. Most are circumstantial and seasonal, and few come wrapped up in a package with instructions.
The main reason you have to scratch the lists is because each life is an experiment in its own right.
Sometimes we try new things and they flop. Other times, the ingredients for the perfect recipe according to someone else (i.e. self-help books) are simply not available and don’t work for us.
Speaking of recipes, the other night, I was busy making dinner. I am not particularly fond of cooking, but I realized that I might as well learn to enjoy it since I’m going to have to come up with something to eat for my family practically every night for the REST OF MY LIFE. So, I might as well (a) start enjoying it (b) at least learn to do it well or (c) both of the above.
Like most normal people, I’m also not crazy about washing the dishes or doing the laundry and scrubbing toilets. I do, however, want to take care of the ones I love, so, why not enjoy doing those things out of love for my family? I want to serve them from a place of being loved and not in order to earn love.
So this is my experiment. I am taking the ingredients of my unique life, including Thai spices, piles of laundry, and dirty dishes to express it all in words and stories of hope and encouragement. And I’m using my experiences and situations to find new ways to fall in like with my own life.
I’m challenging you to do the same.
So far, I’ve found that if all fails it always helps to simply turn the worship music louder, listen to an audio book or one of my favorite podcasts. To make another cup of coffee or imported ‘red bush’ tea, to remind me of ‘home’ in all its various meanings. To take a moment between hanging the laundry to watch the squirrels play in the jungle trees nearby or to look up at the clouds in the sky. Because for me these moments are filled with His presence – all I have to do is pay attention.
What unique ingredients do you have in front of you? Have you figured out some flavor combinations that work for you?
I figure that no matter how unlikable our lives may seem at any given moment. If we do not fall in ‘like’ with it – then no one else will.
So I hope you will ‘smell the roses’ today and truly savor the taste of your favorite treat. May you be reminded of all the reasons you fell in love or the memories you’ve made with special friends.
And I pray that you will hear the sweet sound of ‘amazing grace’ landing on the soft places of your heart, because even if it is sometimes hard fall in ‘like’ with your life. Always remember! You are more than liked – you are loved.