So I had arranged all the kids to be doing something that might keep them occupied (and it didn't work). I decided I needed to catch up some on my reading through the Bible AGENDA. Yeah, I put 'agenda' in CAPS because that's all it seems to be - some lofty goal and virtuous aspiration. Bible reading can't hurt, I muse. So why not? Maybe this could help my soul. Maybe I will change. Maybe I will become more...inspiring? Gracious? Kind? Patient? Like Jesus? I don't know. Stranger things have happened. So here I go...
I pick up the Bible. I am in Mark. I get to the end of chapter 2. It is about them picking grains when that was a no-no on the Sabbath. 'Tut tut' said the Pharisees. Jesus retorts: "Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." In other words, "Lay off - you guys don't have a clue." So I'm all like - yeah, He's right on that one.
At that moment squabbles erupt from the dining room where Timo has taken it upon himself to sweep and mop and arrange the chairs in the living room to make his job easier. Andrew wants to cross but is penned in. I tell them to quit it. I'm reading my Bible after all. I don't want to be bothered with such lowly squabbles. My virtue is put to the test.
They don't quit it. I get frustrated. Surely, this is not what God intends for my pious Bible reading time.
I start fuming. I have a noble goal. A good goal. A 'I'll-be-a-better-person-for-doing-this' goal. I will understand God better. I will be softer, gentler, more peaceful, calmer. And all that good stuff.
But it isn't working. The AGENDA starts to irritate me.
I quickly pray, "Oh God, isn't this what you want for me?! To read and take in Your Word and not gripe at my kids?!" I don't hear an audible answer but somehow I sense that this isn't His place for me. Not here, not now - I am needed as a Mother - not a Bible-toting-aggravated-pious-grump who can't handle a squabble or two.
Somehow I realize that His calling a this very moment is to be a MOTHER. Not a pious meditator by the fire-place.
I quickly scribble my nasty thoughts and they go as follows:
"Forget Bible reading! It's useless. I just read regarding rules and here I try following some 'rule' and it ruins my day and attitude. Kids don't co-operate. Hannah needs a change. My calling isn't to sit reading Scripture while I lose it with the kids. My attitude and temper are the WORSE for sitting here, not better. All this piety and holy Bible reading is going to drive me nuts. If God wants me to read the Bible He needs to make it clear and possible. This just isn't working. I am more crabby and temperamental... Agendas, schedules, and plans CAN help. But right now they're just DUMB. I'm so done with this. Fed up. Angry, even. Pious Bible reading doesn't work for me. Sure, I picked the wrong time and place. Sure, my kids aren't well prepared. Whatever. Criticize if that's what you want. [Who was I writing this to?!?!] I'm not a legalist, nor will I be. God doesn't want me to aim at Bible reading if it includes agitation and losing my temper. 'Nuff said."
Okay, so I wrote that in frustration. And in a calmer frame of mind, yes I can see the error of my ways and thoughts. But I'll put it out there for all to see - because I know I must not be alone in this...am I? Because if I am, oops.
I hope I'm not alone. I know I don't do it all right - don't plan enough for this stuff. But when the virtues of Bible reading are touted right, left and center - it can come back to bite you. 'Cuz it did me today.
And I'm done in.