Can I just tell you how much I despise touching old food? I think it stems from working in a restaurant back in my high school and college days, and night after night coming in constant contact with someone else's leftovers. It was like a never-ending parade of half-eaten potatoes, cold and withered vegetables, and discarded steak fat. Just thinking about it is enough to send shivers down my spine and send me looking for the nearest bottle of Purell.
Couple this with how I absolutely detest having my hands wet without the rest of me being wet, and my poor husband ends up doing alot of dishes. I have been trying to get better though, and have pretty much taken on the whole daily "bottle-washing" routine, which simple as that may sound is actually a huge step in overcoming some OCD tendencies over here.
So anyway, this morning I found myself face to face with a big jar of moldy applesauce that had been forgotten in the back of the refrigerator. I had actually discovered it last night, and put it in a very prominent position on the counter hoping my husband would take the hint (and take pity on me) and discard of it himself, but lo and behold when I got up and went to make the kids breakfast there it was, all shiny and picture perfect on the outside, but hiding a whole host of nasty, smelly, skin-eating bacteria on the inside.
And do you know what my first inclination was? Obviously, to just get rid of it! Don my gloves, grab the tongs out of the drawer, and throw it out with the morning trash. (I should take this moment to apologize to my recycling-passionate husband, who I'm sure is absolutely appalled this thought ever entered my mind, and is wondering what happened to the environmentally-conscious woman he married.) And I actually did have this nasty jar on the way out to the nearest garbage can, when I heard a little voice inside my head, asking me if this was really the right thing to do.
Now, I'm pretty sure that God is not overly concerned with how I handle my rotten applesauce containers. I do feel it is our responsibility to tend to this creation He has appointed us over, and to that end I do recycle, and reuse, and reduce the amount of waste that my household generates. But come on, what difference was one little (disgusting) glass jar going to make in the long run, right? (I know, I know, terrible attitude. You're absolutely right. I do feel ashamed that this thought even crossed my mind.)
Well, this morning I had a feeling it wasn't so much about what I did with my applesauce, it was more about if I was choosing to consult Him and obey Him in the little things.
There are so many choices I make every minute of every day that I plow through without thinking twice. Things such as what to make my kid's for breakfast, what to wear, whether or not I let the dog out to terrorize my children right now or in ten minutes, the list goes on and on and on. But what if I started turning to Him and seeking His guidance in everything, instead of just in the major decisions that I face? What if along with asking Him to give us wisdom involving whether or not to sell our house, I also asked Him to give us wisdom in how to better organize what's within it? This may seem insignificant, but it could lead to the purging of things we no longer need being given to people who do. It would help us to become a better steward of the possessions He has given us. And it would lend itself to just an overall sense of orderliness and calm, resulting in a peaceful mind which is more ready and more able to listen to Him.
And what if it even went beyond that, and us going through our attic turned into these items we've parted with being an answer to prayer for someone who was looking for a reason to believe there really is a God who cares, and then he or she meets Him face to face for the first time? We will never know the ways in which God will use us to reach His children when we choose to obey Him.
This is just one small example, but my life is full of seemingly trivial areas that I tend to take care of on my own without even thinking of consulting the Creator of the Universe. I wonder how different my day would be if I turned to Him for everything. My initial thought is, "Oh my, He would get soooo sick of me. He has much better things to do then answering my questions about whether now is a good time to scrub the floors, or if I should wait to do it until after the kids go to sleep". But you know what? He wants to be involved in these decisions. As it says in His Word, "Pray without ceasing". And I'm sure that any request I make of Him which results in any answer He would give me would no doubt result in my glorifying Him for being a God who is with me. A God who listens. A God who is faithful to me in handling the small things when I am faithful in releasing them to Him. A God worthy of my praise.
And that's what we're here for, right? To glorify and praise His worthy, His excellent, His most holy name.
So what happened to the dreaded applesauce jar, you ask? You will be happy to know that is clean, mold-free, and sitting in the recycling bag awaiting a pickup.
And now I'm off to get my girl's a snack. Hmmmm.... what to make for them to eat.... Dear Jesus, what nourishment do my little one's need right now?
Dear Lord in heaven,
I pray this day seeking your guidance in all the little things. These seemingly unimportant decisions which somehow end up determining whether my day will end up chaotic or calm. I praise You, Lord, for being a God who is not only interested in the mindless activities and choices that make up our lives, but wanting to be smack dab in the middle of them all. Who could blame You for wanting nothing to do with the bland routine of our everyday lives? And yet You are here, just waiting for me to ask You for advice so that I may find delight in my days, and find peace, and find satisfaction, and find You.
You are a great God. A loving God. A God who truly understands how sometimes it's the little things that can be the most overwhelming, and the little things that will most easily distract us from what's important. Namely, You.
I give to You today my dinner menu, and my checkbook, and my children's bedtime, trusting that You will oversee it all, and leave me with time to spend joyfully in Your presence with a mind that is free from all unnecessary worry.
Thank You for showing me today that I will always have You right there beside me, even when my kitchen smells of old applesauce.
I love You, Lord.
In Your Name I pray,