A lone suburban in a sea of mini-vans, a place otherwise known as carpool. I sat in the driver's seat and waited for our eldest to be done with the day's classes. The other three were eating a snack in the back seat and I connected my iphone into our car stereo and placed this song quietly on repeat.
Bathing myself in the much needed quiet moment I could feel the anger creeping in and rising up. It had been a rough day with the Dancing Girl. And the sad part is that she really didn't do anything wrong. In so many ways I am far from being a good teacher. I lack the very quality that is vital to pouring into the hearts of little ones. I lack patience.
It wasn't too long ago when a woman at church confessed it to me. She had said that our home-schooling, and my soft voice, and our little farm, and the simplicity of it all was a bit intimidating to her. And I told her right there and then, "Oh Honey, if only you would look through my windows on a typical day? What you would see is what you probably feel in your own home. That desire to be one thing but finding yourself being something completely different."
I may have a quiet voice, but I have a prideful heart. I want to be in control of my life. I thrive off of order and a clean house, and when I feel out of control that soft voice of mine flees and even though everything within me knows that what's making me feel angry in the moment isn't worth being angry about, I still find myself choosing anger.
So when the words keep repeating through the speakers,
"My flesh is weak,
But Your Spirit's strong in me.
My flesh may fail,
But my God You never will....
I find myself wanting to yell at Him.
I find myself wanting to shout it out, "THAT"S NOT TRUE, LORD."
Because today in my house, my flesh won. In fact Lord, my flesh wins on a lot of days. So how can it be that Your Spirit is strong in me when my flesh wins more than Your Spirit wins?
At 3:30 the carpool line starts to move and we pull up to the curb and My Siah hops in the car. All the kids jump right into a frenzy of swapping details of their days. (I love how much they miss each other on the one day that they're apart from each other each week.) They're all chatting and I'm on the edge of my seat wondering what the Dancing Girl just might say about the day we've had.
And when her brother asks, this is what she says...
"Mama yelled a lot, and I cried a lot. But we made it right, and we asked God for help, and Mama gave us a good snack to eat while we waited to pick you up."
Is that it Lord?
Is it not about perfection but rather the process?
Today was messy under the farmhouse roof. But like she said, "we made it right." We confessed and we asked for more help. And even though my memories of this day feel awful, she's moved on, and she's joy-filled, sitting in the back seat, happy about her snack.
I've read it a lot lately. That book of James, it's been this constant conviction in my life...
"Let patience have it's perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:4)
Feeling a million miles from perfect these days, it turns out that the Greek word here for perfect means this: "that which has achieved or reached it's goal, objective, or purpose, and therefore full-grown, fully developed, and lacking nothing."
So really Lord, when You call us to be perfect, You're really calling us into a process? A life-long journey into Your likeness? "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." (Philippians 3:12)
That I might know You.
That is the goal.
Not that I would be perfect all along the way?
But that I would be willing to endure the journey?
That I would repetitively make it right when I am wrong?
That I would trust You with my whole heart and lean not on my own understanding? (Proverbs 3:5-6)
That I wouldn't quit when the days seem long, but that I would know in my heart of hearts that You are making all things beautiful in your time? (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
It's a new morning.
And this morning I'm willing to go through the process...
That I might know You more.
May Your Spirit be strong in me today as I pour into these treasures of yours.
May grace and kind words abound in this place.
The rest of the song goes like this,
"Give me faith
To trust what you say
That You're good
And Your love is great."
Lord, give me faith?