Thursday, April 02, 2009

Two steps forward, one step back

I have always thought that motherhood is a great metaphor for the Christian life. Or at least a good teacher. Where else can you learn lessons of sacrifice, forgiveness. love, and grace on a daily--sometimes minute-by-minute basis?
Where else do you get the satisfaction of doing dishes, making meals, washing laundry, cleaning house--to think you have it all under control--but then realize you've made only small steps, and have to do things all over again the next day?
Sometimes, I think we, as sinful people, as Christians, as mothers, believe "it all should be done." I struggle with it myself. That's just simply not true. The only thing that is really "done" is Christ paying the price of sin for us on the cross. Everything else? Is a work in progress. Is two steps forward, one step back. It's starts and stops. Bumps. Rewinds. Never a steady flow of achievement. I think when I realize that my life flows a tad easier. I accept that laundry will need to be done again tomorrow. That I have to make breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks--today-- and probably again tomorrow and the next day and the next.
The Christian life is eerily similar to this concept.
Because we are broken, sinful people, it won't be a continuous line of progress. There will be setbacks, and do-overs, and mess-ups. Life flows easier once we accept this--in ourselves, in our husbands, in our children, and in others.

"This life is not a state of being righteous, but rather a growth of righteousness; not a state of being healthy, but a period of healing; not a state of being, but becoming; not a state of rest, but of exercise and activity. We are not yet what we shall be, but we grow toward it; The process is not yet finished, but it is still going on; This life is not the end, it is the way to a better. All does not yet shine with glory; nevertheless, all is being purified."

~Martin Luther

13 comments:

Rain said...

Thank you for this reminder. I think I've come to terms with the fact that there will always be laundry, but I still beat myself up when I stumble in my walk with the Lord.

Sandi said...

"The only thing that is really "done" is Christ paying the price of sin for us on the cross. Everything else? Is a work in progress."

I struggle with this too.

Thank God it's not left up to me to get it all done....we'd be in big trouble.

And when I can wrap my heart and mind around my greatest need being met in the cross, for just that short moment I relax....so often that moment is just that, a moment.
Thanks God it is a process.

Monica said...

Thanks. I needed to hear this truth again today.

Prairie Chick said...

very timely for me. you are so amazing with finding balance.

Courtney said...

Love LOVE this quote! Thanks, Andrea. You ALWAYS encourage me with your thoughts!

Betty said...

Great post Andrea! The older I get the more my bubble gets burst daily and I realize that my expectations are so very unrealistic. I've been functioning all these years with a subconscious standard or schedule that I daily fail to meet. I've been carrying guilt over this for years. God is slowly showing me how off I've been and allowing me to experience His grace. I'm still very much in progress.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

One of the things my grown daughter has said she remembers about growing up is when I apologized to her.

Her friends were shocked that her mom would admit she was wrong about anything... and being human I definitely was wrong at times. If nothing else, my reactions and the tone of my voice were wrong when I was upset.

karijo said...

a,
you are such
a breath of fresh air.
hugs,
kj

jen said...

wow, what beautiful and inspired thoughts.
thank you so much for the reminder.

Pink Slippers said...

Amen!
Wendy

The Mangerchine's said...

I just found your blog and loved this post, great point, great metaphor, beautifully written!

Shannon

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Did Martin Luther see my laundry pile or what???

"This life is not the end...it is the way to a better."

I can't think of anything that gives more hope to my life today. Thank you again for sharing. You refresh me.

Love,
Katherine

Rose said...

hey andrea!
i heard your news, congratulations! children are such a blessing. i'm pregnant too! due the end of september. i miss our emails, things have been crazy around here but we finally got our own place and i should be online more often now.
lots of love,
rose