I often find myself in impossible situations. I’m a doer and I tend to take on more than I can and say yes to things that seem doable in my mind but then turn out to be impossible in reality.
This was the case a few weeks ago when I prayed that our publishing company could produce 20 more books by year end. I got really passionate about some of the work that I was reviewing and some of the projects I was working on and wanted to see them published. So my boss and I prayer for those 20 books.
And then I started working on the 35 projects in front of me. And going to Disney to perform shows. And taking care of Henry. And setting up the schedule for fall for Henry’s sitter needs. And planning my own schedule. And cleaning the house. And leading a 4 hour creativity seminar. And making meals. And working with authors. And driving an hour a day. And I having a complete break down.
I got to a point where I couldn’t figure out what more I could do and how I could achieve, what I realized now, was an impossible goal. I prayed and walked and fussed. But still total overwhelming exhaustion.
I talked with Clare and she suggested that I:
a. talk to God with totally different language, in a way I hadn’t spoken to him before.
b. take a sabbath.
Both seemed like good ideas. Neither of us were really sure what talking to God with different language looked like, but I found out almost immediately. In thinking through what day I could take as a Sabbath, I just blurted out: I don’t want to take a Sabbath. I’m sick and tired of doing stuff for you! I want You to do stuff for me!
Well that’s different. I think I have a feeling or a sense and then I prepare a prayer request. Probably this one would have been: Help me know how take a sabbath, when to take a sabbath and give me the strength to do it. Instead the icing level came off and I was at batter level feeling.
The Answer I’d strained for so long to hear came right away. It was a laugh. Yes, a laugh. I heard a warm low laugh surrounding me. Then quite clearly, You asked Me to give you 20 books, I didn’t ask you to achieve that.
Oh. Ohhhhh. Ohhh! So it is impossible? An impossible task?!
Yes. One that you and your boss asked me to do for you and in you and through you. I Am the God of the impossible, not you.
Then I laughed. Well, I guess I can take a Sabbath then.
I Am not so sure. You are right -- you do keep doing things for me and I love, love your energy and your level of devotion in action. Love that about you. Made that about you. But I Am truly tired of your burnt offerings and your religious activity. As exhausted by it as you are.
Hmmmmm. Hmmm. So approaching You in a different way, being with You in a different way would right now include stopping the religious activity of Alice. A religion I’d set up and followed in order to ensure His response to me.
Which led to a Sabbath for pure joy of time spent with God and time spent allowing Him to restore me and led me not to take a Sabbath because it was a rule to be fulfilled that would please Him. Which led to me tithing for pure joy of it and for gratitude of the ministries who care for my body and soul. Not because it would force Him to open up the windows of heaven and finally bless me.
Which led to activities that didn’t look like creating 20 books. They looked like spending an hour going through some old paperwork and correcting it. They looked like talking to one author for 2 hours in a 4 hour day, instead of the 15 on my list. What they didn’t look like was frustrated,anxiety-ridden activities focused on getting stuff done that only God can accomplish. Because He’s going to do the impossible or tell me He didn’t or tell me why He didn’t or whatever. And my part won’t change which is to do whatever is put in front of me at the moment.