Monday, October 18, 2010

The Secret Potion

What's the secret potion in life?  How much sweat, tears, and sheer determination should I give to life, and how much should I let God contribute?  Should I take on 50% and give God the other 50%?  That sounds a little pretentious, right?  I mean, me split things evenly with God, nah, I'll take 30% and he can have 70%.

No one really thinks like this.

But everyone acts like this.  Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, etc, etc, etc.  I think we all to some degree take on what we can and then give the rest to God.  We do it but we're not conscious of it.  I do it, and I'm not conscious of it.

Some of the most popular religious leaders in our country send this message of partnership with God everyday.  And we, eat it all up.  Because we like the idea of being in control.  It means predictable, achievable, smart.  Out-of-control is scary, unprepared, stupid.

Do the best you can. But I want to emphasize that it be the very best. We are capable of doing so much better. We must get on our knees and plead with the Lord for help and strength and direction. We must then stand on our feet and move forward. -President Hinckley (LDS)

The LDS church (the Mormons) is one of the fastest growing religions in the world.  And the message as it is seen here-- do the absolute best you can, ask God for some help, then get up and do the dang thing yourself.  A tidy partnership with God.  I do my part, he does his part.

Here's another popular example.  Joel Osteen, church leader and popular author, yeah, you know who he is.  That guy from Houston with 43,000 in the pews every Sunday:

Do all you can to make your dreams come true. -Joel Osteen

Summary So Far
1.  Do my very best.
2.  Do all I can.

And 3, coming from Oprah Winfrey,

It isn't until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are - not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within - that you can begin to take control. -Oprah Winfrey

3.  Take control.

Phew.  This list is making me tired.  So much to do!  So much perfection!  Anyone else feeling tired?  Anyone else feeling incapable?  Burdened?  Defeated?  Anyone want a 5 o'clock cocktail right about now?

It makes me rethink my de facto plan I have with God.  You know, the one where I take 30%, he takes 70%?  Or, 50%, 50%.  Or, 80%, 20%.  Depending on how capable I'm feeling today.  And how much sleep I got last night.

It's making me too tired because on a day like today, I can hardly even fold the laundry.  I have no motivation to start cooking dinner, and I'm ready to sit on that couch and put my feet up for the night.  

On a day like today, I'm glad that God requires nothing.  I've got nothing to give.  Can't give my best.  Can't do much, let alone accomplish my greatest dreams and aspirations.  I can't even name my greatest dreams and aspirations.  

And I have no control.  With very small children, there is no control to be had.  Zilch.

On days like today, I think of another quote (a loose quotation told by a friend who lived with her for the summer.  One from Rev. Janet Broderick.  You don't know her, but you might know her brother...yes, that's her brother...

Christianity is for losers. -Rev. Janet Broderick

God requires nothing because Jesus already gave it all.  Me 0%, God 100%.  And, on a day like today, that's the best news I've heard.


Dorry said...

Em - this is incredible. I follow along with your words and can't get enough of your honesty, your wit, your spirit and your faith. You rock. 100% ;)

Brookie said...

Thank you for posting, Emily. I really like the thought-journey you shared.

Molly said...

i don't even have little kids, and i feel out of control most of the time. praise God for his 100%

Jennifer said...

I love this post. I, too, feel so relieved it doesn't depend upon me not being a loser! Love your positive outlook on life. Happy day,