I wrote recently about how the Goose helps me de-stress. The reason I bring that up again today is that I get stressed very easily, and don’t always deal with it well. I also have a tendency to catastrophize and amplify and in all other ways just completely blow things out of proportion.
This happened this morning!
Without going into unnecessary detail, I got a text message from my boss about something I forgot to do. And being the calm and rational individual I am, I became despondent, lethargic, and basically shut down unless I was by myself.
Now when these things happen, I know I overreact, and I try to find ways to calm myself down. I know I’m being irrational, but that knowledge doesn’t change the fact that I AM BEING IRRATIONAL. So I try to do things to at least lower my heart rate. The time I have to do this is usually in the shower.
I’ve been using Pandora lately as one of my calm-down tools, and punched in Jon Foreman as the artist (lead singer of Switchfoot). A song by Rend Collective Experiment came on about how we get countless second chances at the Cross. I started praying, and asking God for yet another second chance to get my crap straight, and I found myself starting to bargain with Him. You know, the whole “If you get me through this, I’ll pray every day and give all I have to charity and never ask you for another thing as long as I live please please PLEEEEAAASE” kind of bargaining.
I have pretty good insight about my bargaining, too.
In my prayer, I realized that the only thing I could promise to God is that I would screw up again. I can’t make, as Mary Poppins calls them, “pie crust promises” to the Almightly, because he can see right through my junk. So why not be honest, I say? And I tell him that I can only promise to keep screwing up.
I imagine His response to be something along the lines of, “Yeah, I know. I still love you.”
I keep fighting having to be good enough for God. It’s a battle I’ve fought all my life, even though I have only been a Christian since I was 19. I’ve never felt good enough, or smart enough, or whatever else Stuart Smalley DOES feel. And in knowing I’m not good enough, and that I can never be good enough, I give up and quit trying. I know lots of people (recovered addicts, mostly) who have said that they knew they weren’t any good and so tried to be the best to prove people wrong. Great athletes, great students, great drinkers, great fighters, whatever. Masters of their domain that drove themselves to destruction. I went the other direction and just let myself get destroyed, mostly by my anxiety. It’s a terrible fight, especially when I know it’s not necessary.
IT. IS. NOT. NECESSARY.
God reminded me this morning that He loves me no matter what I’ve done, what I’m doing, what I will do. I am enough to be loved, because I am His. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Anxieties, huh? Maybe that one’s for me.
It’s the age old message of Amazing Grace, that saved a wretch like me, over and over and over. I once was blind, and occasionally I get fleeting glimpses of the reality of His love and His purpose for me. This morning that glance was simply a reminder that He knows I’m damaged, and He loves me whether I accept His healing or not.
Will I accept it this time? I hope so, even though my track record shows I’m pretty thick-headed.
But, as Rend Collective Experiment reminded me,
“Oh Your Cross, it changes everything
There my world begins again with You
Oh Your Cross, it’s where my hope restarts
A second chance is Heaven’s heart”