Side note: I’m back! Between being sick, family in town, running a race, and traveling to give a few talks, things have been cray cray. If you didn’t notice I was gone, pretend like I never said anything.
This past Saturday, I found myself standing over my sink, furiously grating a hhuuggeeeee block of cheese to use in some homemade mac & cheese. “This will be easy” I thought, “There is no way it could possibly take more than 90 seconds to grate a 16 oz block of cheese with a small (really small!!) grater”.
Needless to say, I was frustrated when after a solid twenty minutes, I was stillllll grating the cheese (with a really sore hand, I might add). And to make it worse, because I was rushing, I was not performing (bet you have never heard someone use the word perform when talking about grating cheese) as effectively or efficiently as possible.
It wasn’t until I took a step back, cleaned out the grater, re-evaluated what I needed to do (break the cheese into smaller chunks), that I could finish with confidence. Okay. I realize that I just talked about grating cheese for three paragraphs. Sorry. But. But! The point is this: as much as I think that I know what I’m doing, or how precisely to do it, I’m realizing more and more the need to take a step back, clean up shop, and reassess things.
In the last 3.5 months, I have moved to a new city, started a new job, kicked off a new program, made new friends, traveled to visit family, go to weddings, and give talks. It has been a whirlwind. And it’s about time that I take a step back and clean out the proverbial cheese grater (weird analogy. I know. I’m so sorry). There has been a lot of new things, a lot of uncertainty, but even more grace (thank you, Jesus, for grace).
For me, it is always just when I’m starting to feel like things aren’t working/things are most out of control/I couldn’t possibly grate all the cheese that I get on my knees and ask (. . . scream at . . .) God wondering how I got into all this craziness in the first place. None of it is bad. In fact, it’s all pretty darn good, but it can be hard to look around with gratitude when we feel like there is so much more that needs to be done.
I’m learning that it really comes down to consistent commitment to the present moment. The to-do list will always be there, but the to-do list means nothing if the important things aren’t done. Practically this means putting first things first – if I’m going to be busy, I should be busy with what is most important. And on the days when I am least sure what I am doing, I need to be most sure that I’m asking the Lord what He wants me to do.
There is abundant life to be found in even the most mundane – like the cheese grating. In the moments where I am most fed up, it is the most likely that after a little evaluating (and a lot of prayer!!) I can move forward with clarity. The promise of scripture remains true for all of us – He will remain with us always, but amongst the clutter and craziness of life, we must stop and ask Him where we’re going. It is there where we will find joy. For those of you that were wondering, yes I did (finally!!) finish grating all the cheese. And that homemade mac & cheese? Delish.