The last two weeks have been some of the craziest of my life, both personally and professionally. In the wake of my absence in the US, the work piled up, the new responsibilities bloomed, and the balls it seems I’m asked to keep in the air as the forever juggler multiplied overnight. The best analogy is that of a hurricane, where my time in Swaziland was the eye of the storm, calm, quiet, sun-breaking. On either side of that eye? The fury of hell, ready to downpour her wrath. And the storm has come.
I thought in high school that all those college kids had it figured out; that they had cracked some code and learned how to relax and manage and then when I got to college it would simply make sense to me too. And then I went to college, and I realized none of them had it figured out either, but it seemed like the post-grads, the 20-somethings had it down. So I finished my degrees and became that 20-something, and I am finally starting to understand that no one actually has it “figured out” but everyone is doing their very best to fake it until they start to believe that everything will be okay.
I feel a bit like a circus act, trying to spin 6 ceramic plates on wooden dowels all at the same time, while patting my head, rubbing my belly, and jumping on one foot. And we’re all really that, aren’t we? Different plates, different priorities, yes, but all still trying to hold it together while we perform the best that we can with what we’ve been given.
And the truth is….that act isn’t sustainable. The show must end eventually, the audience will clap and cheer and then I will exit stage left, exhausted, weary, and worn. Or, the act will crack. We will falter under the pressure, drop a plate, confuse my jumping for my pats on the head and the whole act will crumble under the weight and pressure for perfection.
How do you sustain this kind of life? Who or what do you turn to to breath fresh wind into your sails, to anchor you in the midst of this plate-spinning, jumping on one foot, exhausted life?
I was reminded of some lyrics recently that have stuck with me during this busy, busy season.
“Let the King of my heart
Be the fire inside my veins
The echo of my days
Oh oh, He is my song.”
(King of My Heart, Steffany Gretzinger, Bethel Worship)
Without Christ at the center, there is no sustainability to be found. Unless we do exit stage left, sit at the feet of Jesus, let him refuel our gas tanks, the act will crack. We can only find the power to continue in this life by putting the first thing first.
But this is no regular, blonde haired, blue eyed, baby lamb picture of Jesus that you find on the back wall of your Sunday school class circa 1965. No, this is the Lion of Judah. The one who’s roaring with power, fighting our battles, whose strength is a fire that lights up our veins, courses through our bloodstream and gives us super human strength and abilities. This is the Jesus that turned tables in the temple, that cast demons out in his father’s name, that calmed stormy waves, that paid for my sins, that defeated death once and for all. That’s a kind of power I want coursing through my veins if I’m going to try and juggle all these priorities at once.
As we all juggle, let us remember the lion of Judah, waiting to refresh us with new power. Let us sit down at the feet of our savior, be refueled by his sweet, sweet whispered promises and arise renewed in his spirit. Let us live with the fire of Jesus burning in our veins. He’s waiting.