I went to church last night feeling grumpy and distracted. I didn’t want to be there. I felt emotionally tapped out. We’d gotten more bad news on the shelter project and this, friends, was *really* bad. I kept thinking, Why is this project so rough? Why do we never progress? What can I do to help us move forward? Granted, I am a small cog in this governmental wheel. But it plagued me. I rolled it over in my thoughts, a mental chew toy.
I couldn’t focus on worship. It wasn’t until the very end when the pastor asked us to surrender our worries and fears to God that I realized I needed to do that. All the thoughts flitting in and out of my head like so many pesky mosquitoes proved counterproductive.
One of my favorite current worship songs has a tag that says, “I want more, I want more, I want more, I want more, I want more, I want more…Won’t You pour it out?” It’s directed to God and His Holy Spirit. And I thought, You know, I really don’t, thankyouverymuch. I just want to sit down and do nothing. Is that so much to ask? Eh. Told you I was cranky!
That’s when I realized my “wanter” was broken. I didn’t know what was good for me.
I thought about our kids. They want more TV. They want ice cream at every meal. They would love to abolish the concept of bedtime. But that wouldn’t be healthful for them. They need balanced meals with ice cream now and then. They need fresh air. They thrive on a good night’s sleep. They’re not mature enough to recognize it yet, or even want to consider it. Hence parents.
I don’t say this to be condemning of us adults or any children. Our flesh is strong, and the more we feed it, the stronger it grows. I have to feed my spirit-woman so she can win. I sacrifice my flesh, setting aside how I feel in the moment, in order to worship and serve. I give up my anxiety and cares of the day to focus on Jesus. Do I always choose wisely, Grasshopper? No. I don’t. So maybe the tag should be changed to “I need more, I need more, I need more…Won’t You pour it out?”
That’s when I remember 1 John 4:4: …because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. The world tells us to do what feels right and let that be our judge, jury and executioner. But feelings are like water; they change based on the time of day, light, diet, etc. If Jesus lives in me, my strength comes from Him. He is my hope. He will help me make the right choices, if I only let Him surface.