"Round and round she goes; where she stops, nobody knows." This little ditty tends to encapsulate my life. Imagine a less funny Lucile Ball, jumping head-first into the latest idea on the "best way" to live the Christian life. The result is the same--a complete mess--but nobody's laughing.
A very wise friend of mine put her velvet hammer to me the other day about, as she put it, "Making things too complicated." She pointed out that I tend to gravitate towards "fringe folks" with a lot of rules for life that are not biblically prescribed. Rules like parent like this, wear this, eat this, etc. I thought I was just searching for the "right way" to do things, but my friend pointed out that I'm much more of a people pleaser than I thought I was.
We become like those we spend time with. Why? It's more than just picking up traits via familiarity; we want to be accepted, to be in the circle. Over the years I've changed everything from my hairstyle to my peanut butter brand in order to be loved by others. I thought I wanted it easy: just tell me the rules and let me follow them for a good result. Until it gets to hard. Or doesn't work. Then I'll switch programs. But that's just the problem. I switch programs. Instead of being satisfied with what the Lord has for me and my people, I want to buy into someone else's life.
I need to figure out what all of this means. I know it means setting aside other people's expectations of my food, housekeeping, and child rearing, as well as not burdening others with my expectations of them. It means following the Lord in loving people more than rules. It means bowing before a God Who is so much bigger than law. It means much grace and fewer gurus.
God said to the exiles in Babylon, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11). Can I not believe that He has His own crazy plan for my life, too?