Beware The Mop (31 Days of Balance – Day 8)

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (Psalm 94:18-19)

About a month ago, my grandmother asked me to do some shopping for her. I was happy to oblige. She is limiting her driving these days, and I was eager to be able to do something to help her out. She wanted a Swiffer wet mop, so she gave me a twenty dollar bill and I promised to bring the mop to her soon. My daughter and I left her house and went straight to WalMart to do some of our own shopping. While we were there, I grabbed the mop for my grandmother and patted myself on the back for getting that done so quickly. I planned to take it to her within a day or so.

The next day, I got a voicemail from my grandmother saying, essentially, that she had done some research online and found the mop she thought she wanted. The one she found, though, was over twice as much as the one I had bought. I was confused and knew I needed to call and figure out what it was she wanted. I put it off, though. I was stressed that day, trying to write a message to give at my church the following Sunday and working to write a curriculum for our upcoming trip to Belize. I had a lot on my mind….one thing led to another….one day became a week….then two weeks….and I still had not settled the mop conundrum of 2012.

For two weeks, I drove around with a mop in the back seat of my car. If I wanted to put groceries in, I had to work around the mop. If I needed to get anything out of the car, I had to work around the mop. Everywhere I went and everything I did, the stupid thing mocked me.

“I have to call Grandmother,” I would think. “I have to get this to her….or at least figure out what it is that she wants.” I’d break out into a cold sweat…heart racing…the knot of guilt welling up in my throat.

Two solid weeks. It had started as nothing more than simple procrastination, but soon developed into severe anxiety. I had waited so long that I knew an explanation would be necessary, and I didn’t know how to explain my negligence to my always diligent grandmother. I began to panic about it. It was silly…ridiculous, really….but I could not get up the nerve to do what had to be done. What would I say? What would she think? How would it all play out?

I knew what I needed to do. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It wasn’t all that important, but it kept me from focusing on – or even seeing – what was important.

And so it tormented me: the mop in the back of the car.

I finally got up the nerve one day to make the call. I explained everything, made a time to go take the mop to her, and everything – wouldn’t you know it? – was fine.

All of that heartache…panic…anxiety and unrest….for something that was no big deal in the first place….and that ended with an anticlimactic fizzle.

No big deal, but I turned it into a huge obstacle to peace. It was nothing big, but in my mind, it was a big enough deal to set me completely off balance.

Friends, as we pursue balanced living, there will always be mops. There will always be those things that are no big deal in the grand scheme of things but that, in the cinema of our minds, play out in epic screenplays suitable for Oscar-winning pictures. We magnify tiny bumps until they appear to be massive roadblocks. We analyze minute details until they are all that we can see. We turn mole hills into mountains and, as we stand at the base, convince ourselves that no one ever has ever conquered something so monumental.

Are you facing a proverbial mop today? Are you allowing something small in your path to become the roadblock that stops all progress? What is it for you? What do you need to do today to remove it from your path?

Rest assured, friends, that God’s grace is more than enough for whatever tiny thing is rattling you today. Whatever is setting you off balance, it is no match for the power of God. He sees you…He sees the obstacle….and He is there.

And let me remind you…..He wants balance for your life even more than you do.

Tomorrow we’ll begin looking closely at more of the “balance busters” that sabotage our quest for balance. I hope to see you then.

This is part of a 31-day series on balanced living. Click here to read the introduction to this series, and click here to read all of the posts.

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