Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Coasting



"Be still, and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10, NIV)

The other day I got a note from a friend lamenting that she just couldn't get back into the groove of things. Besides the usual travails of parenting a child with special needs, a number of traumas had hit the family. I was under the impression from her words that she expected herself to be back to her pre-crisis operating levels with high energy and much accomplished. But alas, she was stuck in a "coasting" pattern.


Something struck me in witnessing her situation. What was wrong with coasting? Sometimes, that's just where God wants us. Stop and think about it -- There's no amount of high functioning and achievement that can earn God's love. Nothing we DO can earn us salvation. So why do we think we're less than acceptable when we are merely getting through life moment by moment with our days operating at a lower level?


To our detriment, we seem to have bought into the modern day lie that our value as a parent, as a human being, lays in our output. The more laundry we crank out, the more activities we run our kids around to, the more events we attend, the more we get checked off the list at work, the more acceptable we feel in the eyes of the world. If this were not so, how would a term like "slacker mom" make its way into contemporary jargon?

When Jesus dined at the home of his friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus (see Luke 10:38-42), one sister sat at the feet of Jesus clinging to his every word while the other sister frenetically ran around cooking and arranging to serve the flood of guests that had suddenly shown up. The NIV translation describes the sister who was working at the level of the typical modern day citizen, Martha, as "distracted". In fact, Jesus acknowledged her anxiety, but told her that her sister Mary had really made the better choice by chilling out with him.

In our lives as parents of kids with special needs, we have many demands, stressors and trials that wash over us. While we may foolishly expect ourselves to dance through these situations unscathed with our superhuman capes flapping in the wind behind us, God knows better. He designed us to do some coasting. Being fully present in the moment, even if that moment includes suffering, is what the Lord intends for us. We were not made to fly endlessly from one thing to the next like a spinning top. It's alright to just do the next thing, rest a little or leave the chores undone for a bit.

The next time you find yourself feeling bad that you're not accomplishing tasks to the level you think you should be, challenge those thoughts! Realize that God doesn't esteem your output. And embrace the saying that I have come to live by, "Good enough is good enough!"

2 comments:

  1. Oh Barb! This is exactly what I needed to hear as it is something I struggle with more often than not. I know how uncomfortable it feels to allow these feelings you speak of get the best of me. However, I also know how comforting it feels to allow God to get the best of me...even when I think I'm at my worst! Your scripture reference is one I always keep close to my heart for these very reasons. Thank you for being so faithful with this blog as it is a great help to people like me. =]

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great post. I have been working my way through this very thing in the last while. We are just entering the world of being a special needs parent. I was in denial for a long time. We are going for some evaluations starting June 22. Definately, the most anxious filled thing I have ever done.
    And I have had to let so much go with my house because I can't do it all.

    Thanks for the encouragment

    ReplyDelete