It’s not a new thought, but today’s Wisdom Wednesday is about something that has truly affected my actions all this week. I’ve got work to do, and fading motivation to do it. I want to stop all effort until Lee gets home in two weeks. (I bet the feeling doesn’t go away when he DOES come home!)
I had company this week, delightful company with women who don’t judge me, and who understand my weaknesses. But I was still embarrassed by the clutter everywhere. I understand some clutter, but it seemed like every room had a problem. Couldn’t I have even the guest bedroom presentable? This goes beyond simply having three young children.
The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. Proverbs 21:25
As I read these verses, they were immediately convicting. I knew what I desired, and I knew that a big reason I didn’t have it that day was laziness. I know I’m growing spiritually in this area, but I noticed that I tend to slack off after I’ve been diligent (even if I’ve been diligent for just a small time). So I got up to work, and accomplished some things I had desired. This happened several times.
Later, I started thinking about all the things I desire as a mother. Wise children, saved children, obedient children. A happy home, the love of my husband. I made a big mental list of all those desires, and nearly every one, I could identify a struggle to be faithful and diligent in my own responsibilities.
I want to be a good wife and mom so much that it nearly kills me. But I must discern when my desire is simply empty wishing because I’m not willing to do right. I want wisdom, but I carelessly read the Bible. I want obedience, but I’m weary of repeating the same instructions day after day. I want a clean house, but I’m far too easily pleased with my own meager (growing to be sure) diligence and stop cleaning. Fact is, if I want those things, I’m going to have to sacrifice my own desires.
There’s always a danger of unrealistic expectations. When I’m not walking with the Lord, all my limitations accuse me of my worthlessness and failure, even as I desire something better. When I’m walking with the Lord, reading my Bible and obeying it, I have a more realistic picture of the situation. Praying to be a better mom isn’t the right prayer. Prayer for the strength to do what is needed is. Then I need to do it.
In spite of our best efforts, we find that life doesn’t always go how we dreamed. Our children have tantrums, they make poor choices, husbands fail us, and the house isn’t always clean. We have other priorities. We need wisdom to discern when our laziness is a hindrance to our spiritual (and mundane) desires. As we grow in Christ, we need the patience to grow, and the humility to come before the throne of grace to find help in our need. This week, I needed a kick.
What prayer is pointless? Praying for the fruits of labor that I’m unwilling to work for. Instead, I’ll pray for the grace to truly love him and others more, to work hard, to not grow weary in well doing, to understand how my priorities limit my expectations, and whether those priorities are the right ones to have. I’ll pray for the same things for you!