Friday, July 27, 2012

The idol of predictability

Just for the record, I hate change.

I hate change of Big Plans, like how in the world I'm going to finish up my degree in Children's Ministry when I have to take the remaining 16 credit hours on a campus that is 6 hours away from my house.  I hate how this change will alter my plans for the fall and spring.  I'm left hanging without a solution.

I hate change of Small Plans, like when I'm going to be able to do the dishes or read my Bible when the children will not nap consistently at all.  I am constantly adjusting and readjusting my day and it's exhausting.

I hate changes in Relationships, like when people you thought were your friends, your Christian friends, don't seem to be that way any more.  Or when people who appeared to have it all together seem to be falling apart and denying what they previously stood for.  I am always and forever untangling this knotted mess of what was and what should be and I can never find the end of the thread.

I'm afraid of potential changes, like what if someone in my family (one of my kids!) gets really sick or is in an accident, or what if the Best Laid Plans of Steve and Amelia never come to fruition and we end up being Carl and Ellie from Up after all?

It's a tension that sits in my stomach for days and results in a complete lack of appetite and a desire for any temporary diversion possible.

But do you know what, my silly soul?  God hates idols more than I hate change.

So many times the Idol of Predictability is what I worship: the control, the routine, the sameness, the ability to measure my success (yes, even sanctification) by how strictly I've adhered to some daily planner or Real Food menu or give and take in relationships.  It's a sneaky idol that peeks in among all of the good things that planning and organizing can accomplish.  But it's there, nevertheless, and God will have none of it.  As my mom and I say, "God loves us too much to let ____ (job, fitness, intelligence, reputation, perfectionism) become an idol."

This world is forever changing.  God does not change.  I want to care more about worshiping and delighting in the Unchanging One than in working so hard (and worrying so futilely) to keep my life from changing.

And then, by his grace, the Big Changes and the Little Changes and the Relationship Changes and the Future Changes will be all wrapped up into his great plan of loving me and glorifying himself.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.  Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Psalm 138:8