We’re getting ready to move.
And by getting ready to move, I mean methodically checking off an ever-expanding, color coded excel spreadsheet of prioritized tasks, lovingly hand-crafted by my brilliant engineer husband in the time honored tradition of our nerd-forefathers from days gone by.
It sounds so simple, so straight forward. Make the list. Do the list. Check off the list.
Easy. Right? Oh, you beautiful, naive, linear thinker, you.
It’s actually the Third level of First World Hell.
And by Third Level of First World Hell, I mean a never ending labyrinth of “you’ve got to be kidding me/seriously?/but wait, there’s more/what is it NOW?” revelations regarding our obligation to make like the Boy Scouts and leave this place we have loved and lived in for the last four years better than we found it .
The thing about First World Hell is, it looks a lot like Heaven… on the surface. But scratch a little deeper, my Misfit friend, and see how quickly paradise gets lost in the mayhem of the mundane.
Accidents happen. Things wear out, break down. Chaos ensues. The second Law of Thermodynamics: *Entropy, I believe they call it (the only thing I ever retained from high school science, other than Kingdom-Phylum-Class-Order-Family-Genus-Species). I get it. No big deal. That’s just life.
None of it by itself is so bad, really. A not so miniscule, but doable task (x200) here. A bite-sized, bitter disappointment there. A moment of carelessness resulting in something like, oh I don’t know, maybe the ruination of your kitchen counter by a small but vindictive hot pan (yeah, that one was all me) to top it all off.
You know. Stupid stuff. Small stuff, really, in the broad scheme of things. But the small stuff has a way of adding up, doesn’t it?
It puts me in mind of song lyrics (as do most things in life):
This is where I’ve been lately. Not fighting a huge, exciting summer blockbuster battle of epic proportions. Cause that would be cool. That would sell tickets. But no, my deal has been more of a series of bla bla bla battles. And let me tell you, though it may not pack the same powerful punch on a singular level, all that bla bla bla has had me feeling a little rope a dopey lately. (and if you’re not familiar with my technical terminology, here you go: https://www.britannica.com/sports/rope-a-dope
And I know, the idea of rope a dope is to weather the fight. Tire the other side out. Conserve your strength, to deliver the knock out punch. But you wanna know the truth? Sometimes it feels like there’s no strength left to preserve. No knockout punch to deliver. Sometimes we’re just plain weak. Worn out. No rope left to dope.
Ever feel this way? I know you do. Maybe not right this very moment. But you have. Or you will. And when you’re there, let me share this helpful little reminder, that’s helping me these days.
That’s exactly where God wants to meet us. In our weakness. I know this, because I’m there. And so is He. Right in the ring. Taking all the bla bla bla punches with me. Absorbing them. And somehow, not getting worn out. Not put out by the First Worldness of my little problems. Not even condemning me for my lack of strength or chiding me for my catastrophic countertop choices.
He’s fighting for me. I can feel it. In my weakness, His strength is, well, perfect. The weirdest thing, too, is that it’s only when I throw up my hands in surrender that I begin to access it. I know. Weird. But true.
Of course, none of it has made my First World Bla Bla Bla problems magically disappear. They’re still there. And I still feel weak. And not at all up to the task(s) at hand. And yet… this is where I am finding courage to stay in the ring. The fact is, there will ALWAYS be another battle. Always. But the knockout punch is not about clearing the ring. It’s about clearing out the lies that I’m in this fight by myself, and standing on the truth. And the truth is this:
“In this world you will have troubles, but take heart! I have overcome the world.”Jesus (in the book of John 16:33)
And if He cares about my mundane, bla bla bla battles and First World Problems, He cares about yours, too. Cause I’m nothing special. I’m just a Misfit. Talking to another Misfit. Asking you to take heart, and cast your mundane cares on Him. Cause He cares for you and all your bla bla bla. And He’s got the Knockout Punch, just waiting for you to be weak enough to let him throw it.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7
Editor’s Note: The countertop situation has been resolved, just in case you were worried. I told you, we’re regular Boy Scouts scouts. ✋