I have never been a morning person. I can get up and be on time for anything, whether it's work or for a fun trip; but I never get up with a smile on my face, ready and raring to face the day. I'm not really a late night person either if I'm being honest; I think I peak for an hour around two o'clock and then it's all downhill from there. I wish I was that person who gets up whistling and eager to get about business...oh wait, I am married to that guy. Jim says he gets up each morning saying, "Lord, it's morning!". I get up and groan, "Lord....it's morning...". But I am not that annoyingly cheerful person and never have been. It is a struggle and takes effort for me to get up and get busy. Once I'm up and going it gets better. I get the things done I need to and the end results are the same, but it's an arduous process getting there.
Sometimes I feel I am that way about doing the will of the Father. I really have a heart to do His will, I want to please Him. I want do it right and do it the first time, but that doesn't always happen. Again, being honest, sometimes I kick and scream against what I know He wants me to do. "Why do I have to do this, when ________ never has to do anything?" "Can't someone else do it Lord? I just did all of _______, can't it be someone else's turn?" "Lord I don't have the energy, the time, the resources to do that." You get my drift. A passage that Brennan Manning wrote in A Glimpse of Jesus talks about coming to Christ in this way and I think it translates to what we are talking about here. He says, "Precious and few are those moments of boundless delight and delirious joy. Our personal response to the Storyteller is often halting and half-hearted at best. Because the mystery of iniquity lurks on the landscape and the power of sin waxes strong within us, we may come to the Lord bucking, screaming and kicking. The self dies a slow death, the resistance to the Spirit remains real. The readiness to relinquish everything is more a painful process than a mystical zap. "We are accustomed to imagining the experience of conversion or sudden call to grace as an 'Oh, joy!' phenomenon," writes Scott Peck. "In my experience,...at the moment we finally listen to the call we may say, 'O thank you Lord'; or we may say, 'O Lord, I am not worthy'; or we may say, 'O s*#!, do I have to?'" Pardon the French, but I think that is often how we feel, but we try to hide that from ourselves and fool ourselves into thinking we can throw that dirt under the rug and God won't see that pile bulging up.
I often feel like the son in the parable that Jesus told in Matthew 21. A father has two sons; he goes to the first and asks him to go work in the vineyard. That son says no, but later changes his mind. The second son says yes right away, but then never goes and does the work. I struggle. I am being transparent here and opening up because I think many of us do this. We hear something in our spirit. We often right away say, yep that's the Spirit speaking to me. Or we go, no way would God ask me to do that. Then we argue with ourselves and the Spirit, do I really have to do that? Can I do this instead? Wheedling, and wheeling and dealing, we think we can weasel our way out of doing the will of our Father. But our Father is a patient Father (argghh). He can wait as long as it takes (ughhh). We sweat and lose sleep and get ulcers, but if we truly are His children, we will, in the end do what is to be done. Sometimes throwing a hissy fit as we go, but we are being obedient. With gritted teeth, but we are being obedient.
I want to get to the place where I am obedient more quickly and with a surrendered heart. There is submitting and then there is surrender. I can submit without having a right heart. I can do it with anger in my heart, kind of like when your stinky cousin got you on the ground as a child and made you cry 'Uncle'. You submit because in the end you really have no choice. Or you can surrender, by an act of will and make the choice to do what is right. Merriam-Webster defines 'will' this way, " a strong desire or determination to do something. : a person's choice or desire in a particular situation." I want to want to do God's will. Sometimes that is as far a I get before I hit that stubbornness like a Mack truck hitting a squirrel. Oh, as Paul said, I want to do what is right, but I so often do what is not (Gail's translation).
I realize though that the closer I get to my Father, the more I get to know Him, the more I get to see His heart and His love for me, the easier it becomes to surrender. Here is my Father, who held nothing back from me, not even His own Son. His word says 'every good and perfect gift comes from Him'. That 'His thoughts towards us are for our good and not for our harm'. How could a God like that ask anything of me that would be to my detriment. And whatever it is He is asking, He is there to help me do it. Philippians 2:13, "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." In other words, not only giving you the desire, but the means to carry it out! I wish the IRS was like that! Making us want to pay our taxes and then providing us the money to do it!!
So, I will get up today. I will remember the Father's love for me. I will listen to the Spirit and what He is calling me to do. I will accomplish all that He has for me today. Instead of doing His will with a whimper and a moan, I want to do His will with a thrill. A thrill in my heart that I am bringing my Father great joy. That I am being a blessing to others as I do. And that I can be thrilled to know that I am my Father's child, and that I resemble Him most when I am about His business.
Today I will not pull the covers over my head. I will open my spiritual ears and eyes to the day; I will open my eyes wide to the Son, and listen to the sound of the Spirit. I will not have my way, but do the will of the Father today with a glad and grateful heart. Things need to be done so I will myself out from under the warm covers and begin to joyfully get to work. Up and at 'em!!
Quote from A Glimpse of Jesus, by Brennan Manning, Pages 77 and 78