repost from new hope for dry bones: a few words about 5%

Mike Ridenour at New Hope for Dry Bones posts a delightful, intentional, heartfelt perspective on not getting overwhelmed. This is just plain good stuff, which is why I’m why I’m posting the whole thing with a read more tag, which is sorta like turning the page if you were reading, you know… a book. But who does that anymore, anyway? Just sayin’.  But I digress. Read the following piece. It’s so much about where we find ourselves.  And what we can do if we choose to.

Days come around when everything is a mess.  The bills can’t be paid.  My clothes are looking ratty and two sizes too small.  My kids seem to have lost their minds.  My wife seems to have lost her mind.  I have definitely lost my mind.

The lawn mower won’t start.  I can’t find a hammer.  I can’t remember where I put my keys.  My shoe strings are tied in knots.

A piece of siding has blown off the house and settled in “Who Knows Where, Missouri”.  There’s a wet spot on the ceiling and the garage door opener isn’t working.

I’m out of milk.  I’m out of coffee.  The microwave is on the fritz (people should say that more, fritz is hilarious), the oven doesn’t seem to ever get to the temperature I set it for and the fridge is about as cold as a summer day in St. Louis.

There are days like that and then, everything goes wrong!

By the time bedtime rolls around, my mind is full of solutions that are impossible, detours that are impassable and budgets that are improbable.

Yep, there are days like that.

I don’t like days like that.

But, I have weathered months and even years like that.  There are times that coming home from work meant kicking back and repairing two cars, a lawn mower, a leaky roof and figuring out the weird smell in the back of the yard.

Who wants to quit work and go home to that?

I’m sitting here today looking over my overwhelming list of what awaits me over the next few days.

Based on past experience, I can do that the things I have to do with a broken leg in a heavy cast while standing on my head on a bed of nails.

It is hard to go through those times.  The answers seem so limited.  The future seems so bleak.  The work involved seems too enormous for any one human to push through.

Here’s advice from one guy that has been through it and can manage to go through it (although grudgingly) again.

Pick out ninety-five percent of it and say, “I don’t care if it ever gets done.”

That’s right. Set it in your mind it is just there and will never be taken care of.  Throw it on God’s lap and say, “I can’t do it.  It’s up to you.”

No, this doesn’t magically leave you with nothing to do and it doesn’t make you wake up to a care-free world tomorrow.  But, it DOES leave you with a small pile of 5% to tackle today.

One thing at a time, one day at a time.  We, addicts and alcoholics and any other twelve- stepper, have learned this difficult lesson.  If the rest of your life is too big of an obstacle for you to climb, then just climb today.

I’ve been through this.  Grab hold of the one thing that must be done today.  Hang on till you push, pull, twist or beat it into submission.

Then move on to the next contender in your 5%.

Here is something that happens a lot, that 95% pile that is sitting in God’s lap either took care of itself somehow due to unforeseen solutions that miraculously appeared because your tunnel vision was forcing you to stare at the impossible solution, problems became obsolete just because they weren’t problems at all, just perceived things that could happen in the future, other problems that were taken care of due to the 5% you were working on successfully and also God’s intervention.  I believe all these things are God’s intervention.

The next step is to repeat the last step.

Luke 12:27 — “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”

I’ve found that doing this never increased my faith in me much.  I am still a procrastination, irrational, mistake-prone jughead like God created me for some crazy reason.  But it certainly has exponentially increased my faith in him.  My faith still must look like a BB in a boxcar to God but it has grown multitudes over the last decade.

I’m no life expert.  But, I have been through some mighty big messes.  The seemed like they would literally kill me.

Here I am.  Looking at my day, knowing stuff will go sideways and upside-down and I can do this.  I can do it because I have God’s lap to lay it in.  He’ll hold it as sure as I’ll sit and hold twenty toys and balance them precariously if my grandson asks me to.

After I tire of holding them, I quietly put them where they belong and he doesn’t even notice.  God’s done that for me.  That’s what he does.

That’s what he’ll always do.