As I was waking up this morning and rolling over in bed,
I kept hearing the words,
"What Self-Control Is Not"
in my mind.
I was reflecting on the fact that last night I went to Zumba for the first time in forever and had a great workout and a great time........
and then came home, took a bath, and snuggled on the couch with Tim and Olivia who were watching the UK game.......
and ate four chocolate chip cookies!
I woke up feeling rather yucky, and thought to myself
"Self-control is not going to Zumba and then eating four chocolate chip cookies."
I sort-of thought my blog may end up being on this very topic, but I never really know where God will lead me after my quiet time with Him.
I should have known my own direction wasn't very spiritual, because God always has other plans.
This morning my Bible reading was about Jesus' last day with his disciples.
I read about the disciples getting everything ready for the Passover meal.
At the time, this was a very big deal.
Having a place for the meal and all the supplies was critical.
I can only imagine the behind-the-scenes stress of having everything "just right."
As I read, I wondered what they would have done differently on that particular day if they could have wrapped their minds around the fact that just a day Jesus would be arrested.
I'm just thinking that knowing all of that may have been a little more than any of them could have carried on their own.
God knew their limit.
He knew that carrying the weight of the Passover meal was enough for those who loved Jesus most.
So, He carried their tomorrow.
And He carried them through the nightmare of watching their Savior die and thinking all was lost.
He carried them through the three days of wondering if they had been wrong in giving up everything to follow someone who called Himself the Son of God.
He carried Peter through his own denial of knowing Jesus.
He carried them all when there was no way they could carry themselves.
If God did that for the disciples, why do we struggle today with burdens not meant for our arms to hold?
Why do we insist upon carrying more than humanly possible?
This morning one of my dear friends, Stacy, had this picture posted on Facebook with the following words,
"The contents of my pocket this evening: two quarters, one brown crayon and a peppermint candy.
Wondering if there is a story that would go along with all of it.
Please comment and share any story that might come to your mind about what I found in my pocket."
So, Stacy, after seeing your Facebook photo and reading your Facebook request,
here are my thoughts:
When I looked at your picture, I smiled.
First, I smiled because I could visualize you digging this all out of your kindergarten-teacher pocket.
Second, I smiled because you laid everything out in the shape of face.
Third, I smiled because everything in your pocket matters.
Here's why it matters:
Because what you were carrying in your pocket says so much about you as a person!!!
I love that you were carrying "change" in your pocket.
Stacy, you change lives every day.
I love that you were carrying a "mint" in your pocket.
Stacy, you were "mint" to be a teacher.
I love that you had a "coloring tool" in your pocket.
Stacy, you "color" this world everyday with your love and your smile.
But even more than all of that, I love the fact that when you emptied out your pocket, you longed to know what it all could possibly mean.
I love that you wanted to know why you were carrying what you were carrying.
I think it would be powerful for each of us to ask that question every single day.
Why are we carrying what we are carrying?
What do the contents of our "pockets" say about us?
I think when we empty everything out and take a good look,
we start to get a clear picture of where our priorities are,
what matters most to us,
who we really are,
why we feel burdened or free.
I'm pretty sure the disciples didn't have pockets,
but if they could have emptied out everything they carried,
I wondered what they would have found.
I'm just thinking God knew they had a limit to what they could carry,
and that's why He carried their tomorrow.
Teachers carry a lot of responsibility.
Teachers carry a lot of little faces in their pockets.
They carry the desire to change their students, the longing to mean something to every child in their room, the passion to color the world into something better and brighter.
But they can't carry everything.
And neither can we.
Today, empty your pockets.
Ask yourself what the contents of your pocket say about you.
Decide what really matters.
Put back ONLY what matters and what you can carry on your own.
Thank God for carrying the rest.
I'm thankful God doesn't allow us to carry our tomorrows.
I'm thankful that He chooses to carry "the next thing" for each of us, because I am certain I could not handle it on my own.
I'm thankful God is willing to carry everything I can't.
I'm thankful the disciples carried the responsibilities of the Passover meal while God carried the coming death and resurrection of His Son.
I'm thankful Stacy emptied her pockets lost night and shared everything she found.
I'm emptying my pockets today and letting God carry everything I can't.
(Even my lack of self-control.
Hopefully next time I go to Zumba,
I'll come home and have a nice glass of water instead.)