Ever feel overwhelmed? Yeah, I thought so. Me too. But really, what overwhelms me? Keeping my house clean? Getting the mountain of laundry done? Feeding everyone something new and interesting each day? Finding time to do something “grown-up”? Doesn’t it all seem a little, well, silly?
I’m so bothered about it all. What on earth does all this busy work have to do with the gospel? Why is my life so full of all this busy work? And really, aren’t there just sooo many more important things to be doing?
Really. There is just too much tragedy in the world for me to be doing laundry right now.
It’s easy for me, here in the comfort of my clothed, fed, and heated home, to stop thinking about the rest of humanity. I have to search out the stories. I have to read the news and find the tales of sorrow and suffering. If I don’t, I forget.
I want to be spending my time changing the world. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m changing the world by raising righteous children yadda, yadda, yadda. But my parents raised righteous children, too. My parents sacrificed changing the world to raise me. Don’t I have an obligation to honor their sacrifice? Is raising righteous children who will raise more righteous children enough? People haven’t stopped suffering. I feel so compelled to action, but so stymied by dirty laundry and new jambalaya recipes.
I’m old enough to recognize that “changing the world” is such a silly cliche. But most things of great magnitude in this world have come about by small means. I could be those small means! I yell to myself. The Lord isn’t having the greater global community suffer with disease and malnutrition just for fun. I have some obligation, I know it. These precious souls agreed to this existence to test themselves, and to test us. How would we respond? What would we do? I see the obligation and responsibility clearly.
But dang it, how?
How. How to do it, amidst the strange and silly pressures of middle class american life? How to teach my children to care and act on those feelings, to bear the responsibility of being world citizens? I can’t very well pick up my enormous family and truck them all over to Africa (and really, what good could I do that way?). Keeping a recycling bin is all well and good, but even that seems a little, umm, trivial, when faced with such a world full of pain.
How do you reconcile the pain of the Lord’s children with your own life? How do you teach your children that we are ALL children of God, worthy of his blessings? How do you teach your children (or yourself!) to become an instrument of change and good in the Lord’s hands?