Monday, February 28, 2011

The Camel Game

This one's going to be REAL short.

Have you ever read one of those studies on stress?  You know, the studies where they list all sorts of life events and assign a stress point-value to each one?  Well, right now, I am going through four or five of the "biggies" simultaneously and my stress meter is seriously in the red!  I'm not dying, divorcing, having a baby, or getting married; otherwise, you name it, and I'm probably going through it.

At least I've figured out why.

Twelve years ago, a pastor with whom I was working told me, "You have a lot of performance issues, Dee. God is going to break you of them."  Break is the operative word here.  As a teacher, I have been complimented many times for my "flexibility." The problem is that flexible people are hard to break.  What's that Chinese proverb about trees? "The tree that does not bend with the wind will be broken by the wind."  You probably also know the expression, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."  Over the years I've had a lot of near-death experiences, emotionally-speaking, and so I've gotten stronger.  Flexibility + strength = someone who is really REALLY hard to break.  God's been gentle over the last decade...maybe too gentle.  My performance issues are still there, in droves.  (You'd think that writing The Voice would have opened my eyes to both the problem and the solution, but it didn't.)  Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that God is playing the camel game with me this year.

Maybe you are old enough to remember the camel game: the one where you kept putting straws into its basket until it snapped in half.  Schaper Toys marketed the game, called "The Last Straw," in the mid 1960s.  That camel was NOT flexible, even if he was held together with a rubber band!  He was hard plastic and when he got overloaded, he fell apart.

Sadly, whenever God gives me as much as I can handle, that's exactly what I do: I handle it.  In order to break me, then, He will have to give me MORE than I can handle, and I think He's really close at the moment.  If I'm honest with myself, I have to admit that I am not enjoying the experience.  Of course, that's probably because I keep trying to handle the load.  ("Bring it on, Lord!")  As I sit here reading the cover of the "Last Straw" box, which promises Fun and Laughs for Everyone, I am not having fun or laughing.  Then again, if I am the camel in this metaphor, maybe I'm not supposed to be having fun.  I do hope God is enjoying the game, though.

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