Because one of my main clients is a university, I am having the novel experience of working at half mast this summer. As the summer approached, I began to develop ambitious plans of what I would accomplish with my impending free time, most of which involved cleaning and organizing.
And what is it that James says about the arrogance of making plans?
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. (James 4)
|James warns us about the
perils of making plans.
(I’ve always thought that last line seems sort of out of place, and now I’m wondering if it actually means something like: "What if you make a plan to do something good – but don’t follow through? That’s going to mess with your conscience!" Doesn't that make more sense?)
Anyway, despite my elaborate (and apparently sinful) planning, I’ve pretty much accomplished very little… besides just relaxing and hanging out with my awesome son Bill.
Besides my resolve to clean and organize, I really wanted to write some good, meaty blog posts but… so far, I’ve managed a grand total of ONE. Why is it that when I’m busy as crap, I get blog-worthy thoughts just piling up in my stressed out brain but have no time to make them readable for you? Conversely, I’m sitting here with time on my hands but absolutely no deep thoughts whatsoever.
Could it be the five twelve-year-old boys chattering away in the background? Could it be that empty life = empty mind? Or that with all this fun I’m having, I’m not thinking about God? (Which brings to mind what kindergarten Bill said before he got out of the car for his first Field Day: “Mommy, I’m worried that I will be having so much fun at field day that I’ll forget to think about you.” It’s a real danger, isn’t it?!)
Okay, let’s go back to the five 12-year-old boys that are sitting in my living room playing Minecraft and just talking talking talking… “Iron golems don’t give out roses out for no reason” and “I think we should each have vaults of our private stuff” and “Who has black dye? black wool? an ink sack? anybody?” And this is all very well and good because they’re still behaving in a fairly innocuous un-post-puberty way… because, and here’s my point… I’M NOT READY TO HAVE A TEENAGE BOY.
|I'm here for you, Bill!
In some ways we’re already there… the gallons of milk that I’m constantly buying, the size 10 shoes that I’m always tripping over in the hall, the middle school dances I chaperoned, the way he occasionally washes his own sheets… But in other ways, he’s still just a kid. I mean, he’s playing Minecraft, dang it! He’s obsessed with Batman, he covers his eyes when people kiss on TV, and his fascination with LEGOs is far from over.
I’m trying to keep an open mind about this… I mean, I’m sure teenage boys have their good points… right? They sleep late so they’re lower maintenance... and already I’m making use of Bill’s increased height to reach things on high shelves! But again, I’m NOT ready for this. How will I handle it? I have no tools in my skill bag to handle what’s coming. Dating, driving, identity crises, bad hair days… and all the sheer adolescent angst that accompanies this alarming phase.
I recently had the pleasure of holding a friend’s 4-week-old baby and it was so wonderful… that sweetie went right to sleep. His mom said, “He just likes to be up next to a warm body.” And seriously, that’s what I’m good at. Being the nice soft warm body that lulls the child to sleep. I wonder how I can translate it into being a good mom to a teenager? Hopefully just being present counts for something… because sometimes that’s the best I can do… and this summer, I AM present!