Today started out rough. It was one of those mornings where everything should have been okay. I helped Jeff take off with the kids on time. I left for work feeling okay (in other words I liked my outfit and my hair cooperated). And along the way, things crumbled. My thoughts overwhelmed me. Have you ever reached that point where even when you do have a quiet moment to yourself, you can't stop thinking about everything going on and so your thoughts add even more stress? I've had those. (Like 8 hours ago.) I was driving to work this morning, feeling overwhelmed by all I have to do, feeling overwhelmed with some heavy thoughts on my heart, and the weight of all that was taking me in a direction I don't like. It's the direction of doubt, disappointment, frustration with things I can't change or things I don't agree with, anxiety and even anger.
By the time I got to work, I was almost in tears. I pulled myself together and went inside. I had a mid-morning meeting that I knew would take up a chunk of my time and I wasn't thrilled about it. But I had to go. So I'm sitting there, no cell service so there's no opportunity to even check email. I'm sitting there and something happens to me. It's crazy. I was listening to this audio clip about Jesus being born in straw--and for some unknown reason, it was like God spoke to me. I don't know. I hear the person on the audio clip (who happened to be Bono, FYI) say that Jesus was born in such humility, and it was like everything quieted for me.
He was born in humility.
He wasn't about wealth or privilege or entitlement or even the most basic comforts. He was born in humility.
That's who Jesus is. He's the God I love, the God I doubt, the God I turn to, the God I question, the God I trust when it's hard, the God I choose. He was born in humility, and he's not impressed by the things we tend to be impressed by. And he's not stressed by the things that stress us.
I'm sitting in the meeting. I've had a white-water river of emotions flowing in me since the drive into the office, and yet everything calms over one sentence that reminds me that Jesus was born in a manger.
Again I was nearly crying, but this time it wasn't over stress. It was over straw.
Oh God. Thank you for the crazy things that make me love you. And thank you for reminding me when I'm the one going crazy. You were born in straw. Of course you were.
The meeting goes on (and I'm wondering how something so small can make such a big impact on my heart), and we watch this video clip about fathers. It was a beautiful story, but one line struck me most. The narrator said, "Even a long life is a short one."
Even a long life is a short one, loveys. In other words, we don't have as much time as we think. Days go fast.
Of all the anxiety I was feeling, I felt God give me room to grow in that moment. I'm anxious, but He's calm. I'm overwhelmed, and He's present. I'm thinking about things that seem unfair and frustrating and beyond me, and He's saying, "I was born in humility. See who I am. Follow me."
God gives us room to grow. Like a flower.