So I have this serious issue with floors. I cannot handle stuff on the floors. Toys and that sort of stuff is just fine, but hairs, dirt, food, it just grosses me out. If it touches the bottom of my foot I cannot go about my business. I sort of freak out. Now if this is your house, that is fine, I’ll keep my shoes on, but in my house I feel restless and am completely unable to focus if my floors are in that state. I feel out of control, and on top of that I have crawler, and the thought of her putting some crusty piece of old food in her mouth, well it makes my stomach turn. With that said, we recently got a dog. Oh yes, a dog. She is sweet, the girls love her, and she barks at anyone who comes to the door. mmmhmmm, do you sense my love? She really is sweet. But the one thing that I absolutely loathe about her is the small amount of hair she sheds each and every moment of each and every day. I vacuum at least once a day. Oh and Im not a fan of weird scents, and she has that too, but we will just stick to the hair for now. So tonight after a very long day, I couldn’t take it any longer and I needed to vacuum. 9:45pm vacuum sesh, I think yes! We party hard around here.
So since I am a bit neurotic about my floors, I find it soothing to vacuum, are you sensing my weirdness? Go ahead, judge. I get lost in my thoughts while I vacuum, its almost therapeutic for me really. Its probably because it, the vacuum, produces some sort of white noise which drowns out the sound of small voices, barking dogs, and anyone else who might be trying to get my attention at the moment. So anyhow, I have a moment to think, in somewhat silence. So tonight as I was vacuuming away I started a conversation with the Lord. I started to think about the many things that frustrated me about today (its been one of those days where everything annoys you, is that just me? or do others get this way too?) I think about the many dog hairs that are being sucked up into the vacuum. I think about the Chinese student, whom I love dearly, but sometimes is hard to live with. I think about how my 3 year old has peed on the carpet
twice three times in the last two three days, and I wish I had only wood throughout my house. I think about all of the many things that I am ungrateful for, the many things that I do not posses but so badly want…. uggggggggly ugly. I finally say in the stillness of my heart, “well this is definitely not my dream life” (I can really be a sass to the Lord, sometimes.) And the Lord said, “your right.”
What??? I’m right? I was expecting the Lord to say something like, “yes, but you have this to be thankful for…and this… and this…” but I’m right??? This isn’t my dream life?
Then this verse:
“in heaven I’ll have only you, and on this earth you are all that I want”
popped into my head. Thank you, Holy Spirit! Then my thoughts start going…. Is He really all that I want? Is He really all that I strive after???? Right then as I am vacuumed hundreds of hairs over the tattered rug that we’ve had for 8 years, which I purchased at Target with wedding gift cards, thinking about how I would sooooo love an updated rug. One that is “in style”, one that would really “put” my living room together. Is Christ all that I want, right now as I vacuum? As I go about my day? As I rest my weary head on my pillow at night? I know He is my deepest desire and I really honestly want Him to be all that I want. But my strongest desire is to have it all. To live the “American Dream” or at least my idea of what that means. But for what gain? I will have none of this when I get to heaven. Am I storing up treasures in heaven? Or am I creating a palace for me to find rest in while I live my life on this earth? Am I seeking comfort in stuff and my surroundings? Am I just seeking comfort in general? All things that will just burn away someday. Christ did not promise me a comfortable life. Actually the very opposite.
“take up your cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
To take up a cross means you are headed towards hardships, pain, loss, and definitely not comfort. There will probably be suffering of some kind if you choose to follow Christ. Sometimes, most times, I don’t like that idea if we are going to be honest. Who wants pain???? suffering??? But in that you become more like Christ in His sufferings. When we are weak we become strong, because we get Christ’s strength and no longer our piddly strength. This is actually really good news. Christ in His complete strength conquered death. He took on all of the pain, suffering, and all encompassing everything awful onto Himself. He experienced the deepest pain, sadness, and all things awful because what we experience as pain, Christ experienced everyones pain, everyones suffering, everyones sin, everyones all encompassing awfulness all at once. It makes my stomach get all uneasy to think about it. If you really take a brief moment and think about how gut wrenching awful that was, and how it felt…. oof. But then He not only took that pain, died, but He literally rose from the dead. Like His whole body was not there! whhhhhat???? Unbelievable strength! So even though taking up your cross sounds hard, painful, and sometimes completely unbearable, Christ’s unbelievable strength makes it possible to endure and press on. His strength makes it possible for me to get out of the rut of ungratefulness and onto the path of Holy Cow, God is great! This life that God has given me is good and what Ive been given is good. The dog hairs, the children screaming, the messy student, the tattered rug, all of this is good and is Gods grace to me in this season of life. And I am so thankful that there is more to look forward to instead of just this life and what it has to offer.
And I am thankful for a God who took all of my crap and everyone else’s junk and nailed it to a cross with himself so that I might have life and hope and joy and goodness in this really hard life that we sometimes live. In this temporary moment of struggle and strife I can take up my cross and I can look forward to the day where all I will have in heaven is Jesus and that is all that I need now and always!