Like the storm clouds that gather, their familiar gray turning an inky blue and looming heavy, so is this one word:
I should move more
I should listen more and talk less.
keep a journal
have a sabbath day
know my neighbors
love everyone – E V E R Y O N E
The list could go on, and on, but I’m already exhausted. That word is gathering a storm of weight on me and it bears down.
The weight is in knowing there is truth there.
Here’s another list of shoulds few of us would argue with:
I should wash my hair
schedule regular doctor appointments
and a little lipstick won’t hurt.
One list sounds like a burden of expectations set by others and one list is common sense. Okay, you get a pass on the lipstick thing.
There is a weight we carry in living our days. Or we can choose to carry it less as an obligation and more as a privilege, a joy even. And that’s where I falter.
We live in privilege. We have choices and access. We have clean water and rows and rows of choice in shopping for deodorant, shampoo, even multiple versions of bibles.
It comes down to balance again. Are the shoulds keeping us on track or raining down on us like a storm? How can we be accountable to the ones that feel like weight but can help mold us into God’s servant?
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Romans 12:1-2 the Message