Acts 9:6 …Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?
It was a little too much for me, this small little post I came across. It endeavored to teach me how to make *something* in my kitchen from scratch. Now, I’m not even going to say what *it* was because probably someone in these parts will brighten and say, “Really?!” and run with it (that would be me….). And it is not the idea of “running with it” that puts me over the edge. It is the running-with-it-ALL.
I totally get that we can (and do) make our own laundry soap, cut hair, change tires, and sew aprons. I also realize that yes, we probably could craft toothpicks out of the trees in our yard. But if the DIY attitude succumbs into an all out anti-purchase, thanks-but-I’ll-do-it-m’self mentality, I’m afraid we may be sprinting like direction-less spazzes past the lovelier things of this world, one of which is God-given rest and yet another, the fellowship of and the need to deal with other people in their own talents and trades. Furthermore, pressing on to learn new skills ought to be an outgrowth of need and interest, not anxiety and fear (like over a future that is firmly within the grasp and control of our Lord). It also ought not to be some sick race to prove that we *can* do anything and everything because we’re just that smart (which begs the question…).
As an example, if you’re knee deep in diapers and postpartum blues, now is probably not the time to learn how to make sushi from scratch. Or maybe it is, but you can’t also begin your ginormous journey into grinding wheat and baking bread from scratch at the same time. Oh, and learn to pickle eggs, use a sewing machine and make up batches of homemade cleansers while painting your own kitchen cabinets. Can I just plead with you to STOP?!
Learn to ask the question from Acts 9:6, “…Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” He who leads gently will never overburden you with guilt for all of the things you are not doing from scratch. In fact, He just may provide your household with the funds to buy (even in cheap plastic containers) things like ketchup. He may say *no* to your desire to sew all of your children’s clothes, to raise your own turkeys, to wash and keep cloth diapers. Our problem is that we can be far too self-assured in our own abilities and then ignore His *no* with “…but Lord! I can (save money….make things look better….save time…sort of…..)….” Or worse, “…but Lord! I wannnnnt tooooo…..” As if He didn’t know those things. As if He didn’t have your and my very best interests at heart in absolutely all areas of life.
I gave up beekeeping. I also gave up spinning wool, knitting, publishing a journal, raising my own meat poultry, and much more. In return, the Lord gave me time to sink my toes in the warm sand at the beach while watching eagles overhead and children underfoot. He allowed me space to play with watercolors and mixed media art (which in a past life I would have deemed a stupid and foolish waste of time…). I gained minutes and moments to sip hot (store-bought) tea while listening to my children practice their music. I even got to paint my kitchen cabinets. And so on. And it’s funny how when those extra things were pruned away (sometimes thankfully, sometimes painfully), I found myself in a quieter place to listen and to speak with my God.
I am still learning many things, but this is the best thing I’ve learned in the last few years and I just wanted to share it with you.
In case you didn’t know. You don’t have to do it all.