OK, i get it. That sounds like a lot of work and in some ways it is. But on the other hand, Christ tells us that His burden is light* and if that is true what might it look like?
Pastor Andy Stanley said something like this: If we really trust God, what would that look like? And it lead to an interesting conversation with his congregation. Because if we were able to fully trust that someone (God in this case) was completely trustworthy, totally able, utterly in control, perfectly informed and wholly willing to take care of us, would we need to be afraid of anything, hesitant to try any good thing, timid about loving fully, living fully, being fully and wholly all that we are able to be with someone else doing the heavy lifting? Might that not be an interesting picture of a "light burden", the price being giving up doing it our way?
Does not the need to "do it our way" grow out of our fear that no one else can do "it" as well as we can, has as much invested in "getting it right", is willing to put in the effort, exert the control, manage the minutiae with the passion we have, cares as much as we do?
So, just maybe, there is someone who actually has a better plan for us, more capacity than we have, more power than we have, more passion for our highest good than we have.
And before we dive off the pier declaring ourselves the bestest that ever was, don't you think it might be a good idea to consider our own personal track record? St. Paul wrote "I don’t do the good that I want to do. I do the evil that I don’t want to do." **. When I am brutally honest I have to say I am right there with him. I don't meet even my own (none too lofty) goals as the nightly news likes to remind me with glee on the 2nd of January every single, solitary, crumby year. I set goals, I make promises to myself, to my loved ones and the first time I hit a snag... well, maybe next year. Or I decide to live healthier, too often with "perfect intentions" only to find it all depressing and frustrating and really very darn hard.
Or I plan on daily devotions, or quitting smoking or swearing, or driving too fast, or yelling at my spouse or kids, or countless other ways I know I should live better but I just keep beating myself up. And I almost think my failures are part of why I am tempted to judge God--as though my limited capacity defines His reality.
But a relationship with God invites us to get off the perfection treadmill and into a life of growing and learning and shedding our limited self-concepts. Sometimes we make a leap, like folks who have experienced a stunning release from a habit or addiction that had them in a strangle hold. During other times we wonder WHAT God is waiting for since everything seems to be moving in slow motion, only slowly understanding that His timing is perfectly attuned to our capacity.
Oh God, Your glory is astonishing, I can't understand why you love me, but every day the truth floods my life and Your love overwhelms my limitations. When I am tempted to hide from Your light under my wretched little bushel basket, I am am so grateful that You keep wooing, loving and calling me to trust you with little steps or big ones, ever drawing me closer to You until the joy of Your light far outweighs my puny, pointless fears. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. AMEN
* "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30
** Romans 7:19