Been having some body aches and joint pain, Kiddo, (alright, so you’re a whopping 28 today—for real?—no longer a kiddo to the world, but always to me) and the early morning discomfort awakens me, whispers reality of humanity, that I am merely human, not some invincible creature I thought I was at your age.
It’s those teens and twenties that’ll get us, years full of foggy misperception that we’ll be around to see the next fifty. Or decade. Or tomorrow. That we have globs of time to get it right, make amends, forgive and ask forgiveness, surrender, pray and read the Bible, enjoy the simple things.
We think we don’t need to think about all that stuff. We think we’ll miss out on something if we do. We think. And that’s the problem. We think too much instead of allowing ourselves to be guided. We don’t like following unless we think it’s going to get us somewhere we think we need to be. Then we stumble over our own feet following whoever or whatever we think will get us there.
I remember twenty-eight like yesterday. Thought I had the world by a short tail. And thought I knew what I wanted, what I needed, and what would stop me thinking so hard. It never did. All I got was a headache! For real.
Because you see, Son, we were never meant to think like that, not entirely on our own. Not because so-and-so said so. And not because we see something exciting happening all around us. We were meant to be guided by One Person—God’s Spirit. That’s it. Plain. Simple. Easy.
Wish my forty-something-year-old self could tell my twenty-something self to just stop. Just quit it.
Jesus said, “Martha, Martha…”
Can’t you just hear Him?
“Oh Martha, would you just settle down? No need to think so hard. Or worry. Or try to figure it all out. You see Mary over here? She’s at total peace just chilllin at my feet. So take a deep breath, Child. It’s all good. I’m here and I’m all you need.”
Paraphrased, of course, Jesus tells us to stop making plans, stop trying to make it all work out the way we think it should. Just let Him lead and it’ll all be okay.
So what did I wind up doing? Took a brother’s suicide among other things, but I finally woke up. Gave up. And the money I’d chased and the big bang-up career and bigger and better and more and more just didn’t seem so appealing after all. People did though. And so did love. And taking time to witness a mama bird feed her flailing, helpless hatchling who’d apparently fallen out of its nest a tad too soon. And watching a banana spider spin effortlessly until our entire back window’s draped with her magnificent web. And having lunch with my Eldest on a rainy day because his blue eyes light up the sky and conversations with him are way more meaningful than some personal agenda.
Oh, Son, listen to me good. We don’t have time to chase that so-called “American dream.” And never be fooled into thinking it exists, like I once did. There’s no such thing. It’s just an illusion. We think, “If I can just get that job. Or make “x”number of dollars. Or live here or there. Or do this or that … I’ll be happy. And set. And secure.”
Jesus says, “I AM your security. I AM your joy. And if you’d just come sit at my feet, you’ll have everything you ever wanted or dreamed of.”
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (not paraphrased!)
So the recent “joint” pain I’ve experienced? Is simply a reminder that the only TRUE pain we experience is not located at some lumbar vertebral or metacarpal-phalangeal joint line. It’s found right where HE and WE are supposed to line up—where our souls were designed to join with His. And when this joint is broken—when we fail to do like Mary but run around like Martha—our souls ache and stiffness sets in and we spend futile energy trying to find fluidity, trying to rub friction smooth. But soul friction only finds freedom when joined with a forever faithful Father. Yeah, let those “F” words sink in, my Boy, and your 28th birthday and 29th year of life be the absolute most pain-free ever!
Love you to the utmost ends!
Happy, happy Birthday!