Mother and daughter making cookies and a mess

Green numbers blaze from my bedside. Belligerent. Unrelenting. 3:35AM. Call the accountant about taxes. Call the neighbor about tree roots in the sewer line. What’s THAT going to cost? Will my book ever get finished? The day after I leave on a trip, all my hardwood floors are in standing water. A burst pipe. Ugh. I can’t sleep.

It’s hours before sunrise. Everything is black. And cold. ‘Hi Papa. Are you there?’ My prayer time is first thing in the morning. I’m raw. Time to look over my life when the skin of busyness is stripped away and there is nothing between me and the cold hard anxiety that I’m not enough. As I muddle through the conversation, I realize…

It’s like cookies. Mom can make cookies in twenty minutes. But she’d rather spend two hours making them with her young daughter. That means there’s flour everywhere. Dough ends up on the floor. Cookies get burned. It’s a mess… So what?

Good question. Life isn’t about the what is it? It’s about the who. Failure is not the point. Neither is success. Everything begins and ends with our relationship with God. God gives Moses an impossible task. Moses says, I’m not enough. God says, I AM. No encouragement about how Moses is enough. Only, “I will be with you.” We’re not supposed to be doing this alone.

When asked about all the important things we worry about (food, clothes, money), Jesus says, you can do one thing and it will take care of everything. When asked about the works God requires, Jesus answers to place your confidence in the one God sent. We worry about all the whats in life and yet ALL those stay behind when we die. Only the whos are eternal.

I found the artwork in the Louvre breathtaking. Europe is amazing. Cathedrals. Castles. Temples. Unbelievable architecture spans hundreds or thousands of years. That’s how we make our mark on history right? Jesus didn’t write a word. Didn’t save a penny. Didn’t build a cathedral or paint a painting. Didn’t get ‘anything’ done. We have nothing of him except the mark he left on lives. And yet, as Napoleon said, “Jesus built an empire on love, and at this hour, millions of men would die for him.”

I live a life on fire. Somewhere in the process of trying to find God and trying not to drown in life’s messes, I stepped into my destiny. I’ve searched for this place for as long as I can remember. I ached to be here. It was always just out of reach. Now I feel like a comet blazing through the darkness.

I didn’t realize that my destiny wasn’t a what either. It was a who. When my ultimate goal changed into getting to know Papa/God better. I grew into a destiny that was always there waiting. It just never fit. That’s why, love Lord your God with everything you’ve got, is the most important commandment.

I remember praying, “I don’t really love you. How do I change that?” I started doing a lot of reading. Searching. I learned the first step is to abide.  That means carving out regular time with him. Make a hole in your life and don’t fill it with anything. Don’t miss it for anything. During the day, try to reach your mind out to him constantly.

I still have days where everything goes wrong. Or days where I don’t get nearly enough done. Or days that are rotten just because they are. My default is to measure my life by how well everything turned out. When it doesn’t, I feel like my life’s a failure. You too?

I sit with him, face buried in my hands. He elbows me and and winks, “why are you worried about the mess? It was never about the cookies.”