Biting off more than you can CHEW
In this photo provided by the Everglades National Park, the carcass of a six-foot American alligator is shown protruding from the mid-section of a 13-foot Burmese python Monday, Sept. 26, 2005 in Everglades National Park, Fla., after the snake apparently swallowed the alligator.
Have you ever volunteered to do so many things that you find yourself begrudgingly attending to them? This picture makes me think of a time when that happened to me.
It was the year when my youngest was a SIX MONTH old suckling. I had him … and a TWO year old … and a FOUR year old. . . I prayed .
We have a program at our church called MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) which is a special meeting time (with volunteers who babysit the children) for the mothers to have breakfast, do a craft and listen to a speaker. I loved going to the meetings (although it WAS a feat for me to get my three kids ready to be somewhere by 9 a.m.). Anyways, since I enjoyed the meetings … and the steering/administration of the group was by volunteers who fit the description of the title (M.O.P.S.) … I thought, “maybe that is something I should volunteer for.”
They approached me . . . I volunteered . . . This involved (two per month) extra, organizational meetings among the steering team, (besides just the monthly meetings where all the moms come together).
I also was a member of the choir and decided to participate in the Christmas Musicale, because I really love singing and it was a way to serve the Lord! Musicale involves going to weekly practices (beginning in August), and listening to tapes of the music to memorize it. As the Musicale draws closer, the practices increase to twice, and then three times a week. One also needs to obtain or make an outfit that fits with the program.
Being the conscientious mother that I was/am, I had the FOUR year old in preschool … which necessitated my loading up all the kids an extra eight times a week just to transport him to and from his classes … (where he learned how to cut paper up into strips!)
I also was on the Sunday morning nursery schedule once a month. I helped in Wednesday night AWANA.
I remember crying in frustration several times because I had bitten off more than I could chew. The moment it hit home that this was not right, was during a “moms day out.” This is when the steering teem of MOPS (mother volunteers) camps out in the nursery and watches all the other moms’ children while they go for two hours and enjoy some time out together…like shopping or eating at a restaurant. I remember standing there thinking, “I want to go, too … why do I have to stay here with ALL these kids … I get enough of KIDS!”
I was always on the go or … always being pulled on and tugged by my kids, and yes, my husband . . . I prayed . . . Then I repented.
My husband and I were studying about tithing and we were thinking about this passage in 2 Corinthians:
Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
God loves a cheerful giver . . . I applied this to my “service”. I immediately saw that even though my initial intentions were good, I was expecting way too much of myself as a mother of such young children. After finishing what I had started, (because I don't believe in quitting things halfway), I became more careful with what I said YES to. Now the kids are a little older, but I still only say YES to things when I can complete them with joy in my heart. Unlike the python in the picture, I stay in one piece … and I have God’s peace about that.
Sorry if the picture has been overexposed, but it inspires me!
It also makes me think of how I feel when I try to comprehend how divine soveriegnty and human freedom can be reconciled!