I couldn't sleep tonight. I had so much on my mind, I felt like I was lying on the track at the Indy 500 attempting a nap. Finally, I got up, texted a friend, made tea, and sat down with my journal. (by her advice)
I started writing a list. "I have to do this... I need to figure out this... I need to plan this..." And finally my words turned into a prayer. God, I can't do this. I don't even want to! It's time to trim the tree, and I want to run for cover. Visions of hot chocolate, Christmas music, and laughing children are stomped out by a wave of nausea. Lord, please, sort this out for me. Figure this out - tell ME what to do.
And then I prayed, "Let me be your personal assistant for my life."
I laughed at myself. What a weird and random prayer. But honestly, it helped everything make sense in my head. Apparently the Holy Spirit is up on corporate culture.
Just this past week, I watched "The Devil Wears Prada" for the first time in a long time. I'm sure most have seen it, but for those who haven't: It's about a young lady that moves to New York to be a journalist, only to find herself looking for just about any job that will pay the rent. She interviews for the position of the Personal Assistant (#2) to a notoriously difficult woman - the Editor in Chief of a major fashion magazine. The movie is about the young woman's struggle to maintain her identity and relationships while half killing herself to keep up with the insane demands of her boss.
It's cute, it's witty, and it has a happy ending. I won't spoil it just in case. (As if it weren't entirely predictable)
God is not the fictional Miranda Priestly. But I see how the metaphor loosely fits.
God is neither impossibly demanding nor a slave-driver of a boss. However, our lives do start to look differently as we surrender our wills to His.
The boss knows whom to meet with and why. The boss knows what he needs and where to get it. The boss is the one in charge of organizing his complex life, while his personal assistant does the footwork and smaller tasks.
Similarly, God knows who I need to make time for and why. God knows my needs and how to provide them. God can make the most complex set of circumstances come together, because He's got the bigger picture in mind at all times. My job is to do what He asks me to do, so that we can work together to make the day to day things happen.
Sometimes He asks me to do things that seem mundane or irrational. But it's my job to obey, trusting that He knows what He is doing. See, when I step aside, shut my mouth, and receive direction, God is free to make my life work. And because He is always good and has eternity in mind, I can trust His decisions as I go about doing what He has asked me to do.
Let it be clear that God and I do not have a boss/employee relationship. I have chosen to serve the Lord with my life because of my love for Him. And because of the sacrifice Jesus made, I am not considered a servant but a child of God. We have a parent/child relationship. We have a best friend relationship. (John 15:15, Romans 8:15)
Free will says that I can rip the God's planner right out of his hands and try to sort out the schedule on my own. Free will says that I can walk away at any time. But I don't want that - I can't live like that. Every time I start to drift in that direction the burden becomes too heavy to bear.
I want to be God's personal assistant for my life. Tell me what to do, Lord, and I will facilitate your will in my life and in this world.
"Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?" (Galatians 5:18, The Message)
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (2 Corinthians 3:17)