Thursday, February 6, 2014

Do Nothing

"Do nothing." That’s what my friend, spiritual director and Mac support man said. "I’m on it, Margie. It’s all taken care of. Do nothing.” (for more about Ed go to his blog: www.wedonotloseheart)
I have a response pattern firmly woven into my amygdala. It loves to presuppose that Margie should never make a mistake. However small it might be, you are not allowed to get it wrong. If the thing is big, involving another’s well-being, lots of money, losing your keys, or moving your house and job from here to there, well then, there will be hell to pay if you get it wrong or can’t fix it. Matters of less consequence are not exempt from punishment.
Some would say when mistakes are made they are accidental. Circumstantial. Just life. Maybe, but lately I’ve come to believe God is messing with that organ in my brain; perhaps it should be called my heart. Or my spirit. Whatever, where ever it is, He is in that place where the real me dwells beneath miles of protective layers and he allows me to make mistakes. Sometimes he’s there with a wrecking ball trying to get my attention, other times with an instrument so delicate I barely feel the exposure of this ill conceived notion that whatever Margie does, must be done perfectly.
What happened yesterday will probably seem inconsequential to you. Not to me.
I was excited that it’s time to replace my aging computer with the new MacBook Pro Retina Display. Ed sent me the link and told me to go ahead and order the computer and a warranty and have it shipped to him for set-up.
1. I ordered the wrong computer.
2. I forgot to purchase the extended warranty.
3. I was dropped several times before I finally got the warranty purchased. When I purchased it, it was, of course, for the wrong computer.
4. When the receipt was emailed I saw I had even accidentally ordered an extended warranty for a computer I knew I wasn't getting.
5. By the time Ed figured it out, the wrong computer had already been shipped with the added cost of a warranty for a computer they hadn’t shipped and I wasn’t getting anyway. Do you understand this? Good.
It is the most mystifying thing to be a person who can get so many things wrong in one go. It is also humiliating. Shameful. It was time to beat myself up.
Suddenly I decided I’d had enough of that. This is who I am. A person who makes mistakes. Even sinful mistakes. Not one of my weaknesses is a surprise to God. (Not to Ed or to you either.) Being a person who tries to control every thing and every one and fails at the simplest thing and yet is still loved by Jesus? That’s not bad.
In a book I’m reading slowly these days - Barbara Duguid writes in Extravagant Grace: "Paul’s description of himself as chief of sinners (see I Tim. 1:15-16) is not some charming attempt at humility and self-abasement; it is the absolute, glorious truth. We are all frail and fragile children who sin a great deal in our disobedience, but who also manage to sin a great deal in our best obedience as well. Discovering this truth and growing to love it can be one of the most powerful and joyful motivations for change that God ever invented, but it seems that few Christians today ever get there. They have such a hard time giving up their great expectations for themselves and others, and they are left spinning aimlessly in cycles of fear and shame as they try desperately to impose those expectations on the recalcitrant world around them."
May God continue to hammer at my heart. I want change. I want/need joy.


marmielu said...

Thank you, Margie, for letting us see this. I know exactly what you are saying here! I, too, have been given the opportunity over the past year or so to see these same struggles in myself. It's tough, and I don't like it at times, but I know it's necessary and only a loving Father committed to my sanctification would put forth this effort.
--Mary Lou

Scott Herron said...

Great thoughts Margie! As I was reading I had the thought, Ed isn't the only one to tell us to do noting...
Psalms 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God." We all need to remember this fundamental principle that for ill or good we are in a place of incredibly need.

Hope that y'all are well!

Margie Haack said...

Mary Lou, knowing we share in these struggles actually frees me - not to repeat them, but to look forward to what God can do with me in this chaffing, revealing process. Thank you for commenting.

Margie Haack said...

Scott, so true. As I think about being "still" it goes against much of what I've been taught as an American Christian. I must always be busy. I must live the Victorious Life! Very worth practicing. Learning.

hansobma1 said...

Hi Margie! As always, I enjoyed your writing. : )

Question for you:
How do you, Margie, seek God? I was directed recently to seek God, and I'm considering ways I can do this.

Hope you are well!

Margie Haack said...

Hans -- your intriguing question. I wish I knew exactly how to answer, but I don't. There are no sound bites for it. There have been times in my life when I have sought him and he seemed nowhere to be found. Other times when I actively wanted him to go away and he would not leave me alone.

I think he often seeks us in very unexpected ordinary ways. Not necessarily in what others might label miraculous or sensational. But to us, we know. This is God.

Many teachers and mentors who have influenced me believe God never turns away the slightest sincere move in his direction, even if it is screwed up. Jesus says the same - a broken reed he will not bruise.

I rather count on that, as you can probably tell. I wish you well in your search and will pray.