(First posted on August 17, 2011)
I cannot rub Nancy’s shoulders and read Isaiah at the same time.
I’m sure that really spiritual people can do such things, though if they try to rub Nancy’s shoulders, I’ll get pretty ticked. But the balance doesn’t work, the conversation doesn’t work. And so, I lay on the sofa and she sits in front of me and we watch “Biggest Loser” and I rub her shoulders.
You may not like that show. But you have your version of the same struggle. You can’t get homework done and pray. You can’t dust and write in a prayer journal. You can’t stay up all night with a crying child and stay awake through Psalm 100, let alone Psalm 119. (Feeble biblical literacy joke. Psalm 100 is really short. Psalm 119 is really really long. (An even more feeble “get them to look at some verses” trick. ))
The challenge we think we face, to be blunt, is balancing making God like us with living real lives. We should spend time with family but we should spend time on God things. We need to put in the hours at work but we know we should pray a certain amount.
And our hearts fight this all the time and then we give up and hope for grace.
But what if the choices aren’t 1) backrub AND 2) backrub OR. What if it’s backrub THEN?
What if we decide that we will care for our spouse then read one chapter a day? What if God loves it that we actually spend the night with the crying child and that the sleepiness we feel when we try to read is his peace?
What if God has all the time in the world to be known so we can take our time and not rush through motions?
Why am I reposting this? Because today we celebrate having spent 29 years of marriage, learning together what following Jesus means. And I am exceedingly grateful for all that God and Nancy have taught me about love.