Weary in Doing Good
I’m tired, and my dear wife is happy about it. Two weeks of speaking and travelling among the saints in Colombia, South America has left me run down, fighting a cold, and muddle headed. My wife, God bless her, is no sadist. Her joy over my weariness is perfectly understandable. She likes “Tired Me” because “Tired Me” is much more soft, attentive, emotional and tender than “Energized Me.” I suspect that there are other husbands like me, and other wives like my own.
Having been through this pattern before I was tempted to think nothing of it. It’s a nice bonus that my wife is blessed by this current state of mine. And I had always been content to discount the phenomenon as not touching on the real me, tough guy that I am. But for some reason, perhaps because I watched Inception on my flight back from Colombia, I am not left wondering this- what if “Tired Me” is the real me? What if my weariness doesn’t obscure, but instead reveals who I actually am? What if I expend energy, when I have it to spare, suppressing my feelings? What if Andrew Peterson’s song The Queen of Iowa drives me to tears because it should, and that something is wrong with me when it doesn’t? What if my Shannon’s smile, my Donovan’s hugs, Darby and Delaney’s singing voices, Erin Claire’s thoughtfulness, Maili’s stories, Reilly’s prayer requests, and Campbell’s overflowing love for his siblings are supposed to keep me perpetually choked up? What if “Tired Me” is better at sympathizing with Yolie and Sue and Eileen and Tim and Joni in all the challenges they are facing?
Indeed, what if God in His good providence, sees to it that I am more tired, so that I might be more like His Son? Maybe that’s why I should be getting up earlier to pray. Maybe that’s why I should be working harder, not so that I might get more done, but that more might be done in me.
Our prayers expose the folly of our strategies. We ask for strength, because we think it will do the kingdom good. But the kingdom grows in our weakness. We ask for health, thinking it will make us more effective, when it might just make us more affected- pretending to be strong and bold. We ask for ease, which only makes us more at ease in Babylon. What we ought to be asking is to be more like Jesus. He had no place to lay His head. He was acquainted with sorrows. He carried the burden of our sins, and drank the Father’s cup. And through it all He is what we are supposed to want to be. Lord, make me tired. Make me weak. Make me tender and make me soft. Make me reach out to hold my wife, to squeeze my children. Make me more like your Son, for the sake of His kingdom, for the sake of His saints, and for the sake of my soul.