Wednesday, December 6, 2006

spiritual discipline

Lucy is bringing me closer to God.
But not by warm fuzzies, as in curling up on your daddy's lap and reading a story.
More like being dragged kicking and screaming.

In olden times, monks and nuns flagellated themselves, wore hairshirts, and slept on beds of nails to get closer to God.
Parenting is not that bad. But it is a similar idea.
Lucy is my spiritual discipline. I think the whole idea behind spiritual disciplines (for example, fasting, prayer, meditation, giving money regularly) is to subvert the "what I want" impulse in favor of "what God wants" impulses.
Boy, we are sure getting the hang of that.

I was eating lunch today (cobbled together from various leftovers, which, luckily, were pretty tasty). Lucy wanted to eat (or pee, couldn't quite tell). Then. In the middle of lunch! The nerve!

If this happened once, twice, or three times a day, I would be completely down with that.
The problem is it happens every minute:
I want to eat. Whoops! Lucy wants to eat first! For forty-five minutes.
I want to sleep during the day. Whoops! Lucy wants to kick me!
I want to go to a party. Whoops! Lucy would rather stay home. Or once we get to the party, she wants to be fussy and irritable.
I want to pee. Whoops! Lucy wants to pee! She taunts me with her free-flowing urine! (Thought: Maybe I'm the one that needs a diaper. Then at least I could go when I want. Hmmm. Still have some oversized adult pads left from after birth. Note to self: look into the adult-sized pads.)
Okay, I'm not that desperate. Yet.

Mostly, I roll with the punches. But it gets hard having your will yanked out of tightly clenched fists every two minutes.

It's even harder because the will-subversion is so unequally shared. For some reason, God designed us so that women had to do 95% of newborn care. I mean, guys can get awfully handy at, say, changing diapers, but they just can't feed them the perfect food. This was a rude awakening for someone who married a guy known as "the baby whisperer".
Why did God design us this way? Wouldn't it be good to have a backup system: ie, guys with functional nipples?
Some people think God is a man.
I think the jury is still out.

All blasphemy aside, maybe that's why God came to earth in the form of a guy. Since he knew that women would get his point a lot more quickly.
Jesus: "Become like little children."
Women in the audience: "I sure sleep, eat and pee like a little child. I've got the brain capacity of a small child from sleeplessness, hormones, and dehydration. Check!"
Jesus: "Take up your cross."
Women in the audience: "A baby is sort of cross-shaped. Check!"
Jesus: "You must lose yourself."
Women: "Boy, he ain't kidding."

So I end up praying a lot, to help with the letting go of will. Not fancy-pants prayers, either. More like, "Argh!" or "@#%^$". Luckily, Paul said when we were unable to pray, the Holy Spirit prays for us with "groans that words cannot express."
Boy, he sure wasn't kidding.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Kicking and screaming, yes. But how cool that we get to see His power made perfect in our weakness every single day! Or, if your weakness is like mine, every ten minutes or so.