I’d like to write, “It’s been one of those weeks where nothing goes right and I feel like the world is stacked against me.” But that statement is inaccurate.
You see, I’m not really sure how it’s January 21. I’ve been on the struggle bus for many, many months now, unable to get my feet completely under me. I’ve lived a reactive life for a while now. Sure, I have my to-do lists and my handy calendar full of tasks that require my immediate attention, but I never can seem to catch up in order to properly organize my life in a proactive way that makes me feel good about what I’m doing.
My little world has many balls in the air. I understand that I’ve chosen to juggle many things, and I typically find complete joy in doing so, yet lately I’ve noticed that things I really, really care about are going unchecked in lieu of other things. Would you like an example?
I love writing my personal newsletter. There are several hundred people who took the time to sign up and say, “I’d like to hear other stuff you think about, Lincee.” That in and of itself floors me. It’s so very cool. But I’ve found myself pushing that wonderful task to the bottom of the stack because I don’t have time to do it justice. There’s an article to write that has an immediate deadline or a show to recap that has an immediate deadline or a chapter to turn that has an immediate deadline or a Bible Study talk to prepare that has an immediate deadline.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to write for Entertainment Weekly. I still can’t believe a publisher wants to print another book of mine. And I will always feel the power of God when I stand on a stage and bring His word.
But it’s the important little things that get tucked away for a later date. I see them and I think, “I’ll get to you soon! Hang in there!”
Guilt typically washes over me soon after I realize that it’s been months since I distributed a newsletter or posted something non-Bachelor related. The guilt comes from a weird place. I consider my website to be my greatest creation, yet I easily neglect it and the community we’ve built around something as silly as hating green beans.
When you’re a writer, and your name is Lincee Ray, you compare yourself to other people in the business to see how you’re measuring up. You see you’re no different on the outside. Everyone has balls in the air. Everyone is talented. Everyone lets you know how great they are doing on social media.
This is when “the gimmes” come for me.
I get all panicky and try to kick it into overdrive, demanding that things happen NOW. Let them laugh at my words. Let them be entertained by my craziness. Gimme more time to make it better. Gimme a great idea. Gimme her great hair. Gimme a clever hashtag. Gimme what he has. Gimme a speaking gig. Gimme another book writing contract. Gimme…
Applause? Praise? Accolades? Affirmation? Success?
Our church is studying the book of 1 Samuel and the other day, I saw myself as one of the Israelites who demanded a king. They looked around and noticed that everyone else was doing great with their kings and they shouted, “Give us one too!”
Samuel explained that it would not work out in the end. A king would take tax them and make them slaves. They would lose their children. The Israelites heard this and answered, “Sounds fabulous! Where do we sign up?”
Well, they got a king. And things did not go well. Just as Samuel warned. They had a king. They had THE KING. And they ignored Him.
This is when I learned that saying NOW to God is just as disobedient as saying NO to God.
The days are going to be chaotic for the near future. I accept that. I’m not going to get everything done the way I want it in the timeframe I want it. I accept that.
Instead of bombarding the Lord with an endless string of “gimmes,” I’m going to hold all things loosely. I’m going to try and extend myself some grace. And I will ask that He lead every minute of my day in the direction it needs to go.
Let the record show that this does not apply when I ask for Him to gimme strength in order to make it through an episode of The Bachelor. That’s completely different and totally allowed.