Learning the unforced rhythms of grace


Redeemable Reality

Last night I found the perfect app for my phone. You know how it is . . . September brings a fresh wind of organizational energy! So, I created a routine and scheduled activities so that each hour of my day was designated a perfectly designed task. I looked forward to waking up to a new and exciting schedule.  I turned my phone off and went to sleep. 

Well, it didn't work.

I mean the app worked fine. It notified me every hour of the scheduled activity that I was now behind on, missing out on, and failing in the perfect plan of my day. Thankfully, It only took me until noon to realize that this was a bad idea. 

You see, for the past 24 years, I've organized my day around the amount of pain that I have to work with. If pain was low, there were many options. If pain was high, then it might be a heating pad, hot drink, curl up on the couch kind of day. It all depends on the pain. Living with chronic illness or pain means being flexible. It means being responsible for those things that are mine to accomplish, but the accomplishing just looks different. 

So, you say, "then what's the problem Heather? Why this blog post?"

Because to 'uninstall' the app on my phone meant to surrender AGAIN to the reality that is my life and deeper yet, surrender to God to whom my life is devoted to. 

I've been thinking about the term "Redeemable Reality". God loves reality. He lives there. He doesn't live in our pretend worlds of imagined strength or capability. He lives in the moment that we wake up and swing our tired bodies out of bed and face the challenges of our days - whatever they are. He is there . . . and He loves us in our reality.

Redeem means to restore, recover, change for the better. We redeem little paper tickets for a prize. We redeem a gift certificate for a delicious gourmet dinner. We exchange the reality that we hold for something better.

God is in the business of redeeming reality. Our job, is to honestly hold our reality in our hands, accepting it for what it is, maybe even being thankful for it,  and then asking God to redeem it. 

But if we truly surrender to Him in this process, then we don't decide what He exchanges it for. We don't demand a certain prize. We trust that His choice of what to do with our reality, will be the best. 

My organizational app seemed like a good idea . . . but it denied my reality in pursuit of trying to find life, satisfaction, ego-boosting accomplishments and a sense of control. Oh, I still have a list of things that I do everyday, and I believe that is important. But I need to allow God to take my reality and redeem it according to His purposes, His design and His timing. 

September season often gets me this way. I'll mark it on the calendar for next year to enter it slowly and with steadiness - no sudden moves or app downloads. :)