Today is the age of supermoms. Women work, raise kids, take their kids to all kinds of activities, keep their house clean and decorated according to the latest trends, and so on. The same is true of men. Both men and women these days are expected to juggle a lot of things — jobs, family, fitness, recreation. Heavy expectations are put on them — that their houses and yards look great, that they have a nice car, that their kids are high achievers, that they take care of the environment, that they pursue healthy eating, that they work out, that they have the latest electronic gadgets, etc.
We are always on the go. We are over stimulated. We have this kind of channel flipping mentality — just like we are constantly surfing the TV viewing choices, we are constantly dipping into this and that in life.
So it is no wonder some of us treat Christianity the same way. We feel that we have to do everything — reach out to people, practice hospitality, help keep each other strong, give to the needy. These are all good things. But there can be a scatterbrained mentality that makes us dart here and there trying to do so much.
I will note that many Christians also struggle with laziness, so this may not apply to them.
It is comforting to me to know that as wonderful as Jesus was when he was on earth, he was constrained by the same physical limits I have — time and strength of body. He could only do so many things in a day. he couldn’t heal everyone, preach to everyone, save everyone. And he didn’t expect himself to do so.
Instead, he took out time to pray. He got away from people and the press of needs and gathered strength and wisdom from God, and put things in God’s hands.
Instead, he focused on 12 men, and even more closely on 3 men. I would like to add that he focused on some women as well. They may not have been a part of the inner circle of the 12 apostles, but it is obvious that Jesus had a relationship with Mary Magdalene, and Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus.
It is also comforting to me to realize that even with all of his efforts, Jesus wasn’t able to save even one of his disciples from spiritual struggles and weakness.
“Then everyone deserted him and fled.” Mark 14:50
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
It is interesting here that many versions translate this as Satan asking to sift ALL the disciples as wheat. When I am praying for others, what would it be like if I prayed expecting that they were going to be sifted? “Father, I know that all of my sisters — Alicia, Danielle, Jessica, Markeya, Yesenia, Amy, Stephanie, Heather, LaJasmine, JasMin (and so on) — are going to go through some hard struggles that will test their faith. Help them to find faith during these challenges. I know they will be weak, but when they find faith and are even stronger than before, help them to strengthen one another as they go through similar trials.”
Jesus did say we should pray, “Lead US not into temptation.” But he must have known some temptations are inevitable, and even necessary. I just keep thinking that we are doing something wrong, I am doing something wrong, if people enter trials and have times of weakness.
So going back to the theme of ADD, Alicia and I actually got matching Wonder Women shirts to reflect the craziness of our life serving in this ministry. But it doesn’t have to be crazy in a scatterbrained way, it can be a purposeful adventure.
I need to be like Jesus and take time to really focus in prayer, so I can hear the promptings of the Spirit on what is really important to do, and what relationships need my focus. This helps me slow down and calm down.
And I need to understand the nature of God’s kingdom — that people will have times of trial and weakness. Let me walk through that journey with them, and help them find faith.