Friday, August 25, 2017

She Hath Done What She Could

This is a quote from Mark 14, about a woman who anointed Jesus with very expensive perfume just before His crucifixion.

The disciples were chiding her for the waste. A year's wages dumped out.

Jesus rebuked them and called her action a beautiful thing.

She hath done what she could.

As I've been pondering this for a couple days, my thoughts go two ways...

could as in allowed and could as in ability, energy, resources, etc...

So many times we focus on what we can't do, what we are not allowed to do.

Because, let me tell you, when you've been raised in a conservative family and a conservative denomination, there are quite a lot of things that women can't do. According to a traditional interpretation of the Bible. And it can drive me quite batty, (to borrow a phrase from the KJV...) making me want to kick against the pricks...

And, in life season, energy, and family, there is a whole lot I can't do. I have to consider the needs and schedules of my kids and husband. My body is getting older, and it needs rest and time to heal.

I've found this to be a year of can't's...for so many different reasons. Priorities. Health. Sanity.

Sometimes those can't's can be quite discouraging. When I focus on all the things I've not been able to do this summer/year, I get annoyed, and frustrated, and rather discouraged. I feel gipped.

It puts me in a dark place pretty quick.

But, how much more profitable to just do the things we can do. And focus on those things. With a joyful, peaceful, industrious, content spirit.

The past three weeks I couldn't do my Rockford bike rides every morning. I had to get BMV to driver's training by 9:00 each morning (plus fit in his 12 driving hours). But, I could manage 22 miles, if I left by 7:15. And it was good. I saw a rainbow, turtles, a deer, the glorious sun rises, and experienced the peace and quiet my soul needed.

This week I couldn't help a friend pack up her house for their move. But, I could double a dinner I made, and take the leftovers to their family so they could have a hot meal she didn't have to make.

This season I can't participate in, let alone lead, the Bible study I was involved with for over 19 years. But, my husband and I can invite young couples into our home, to encourage and mentor them.

This season I can't expect school to be a wrap by noon, but I can really dig into the learning process and enjoy life long learning.

This summer my babysitter's schedule and my schedule hardly meshed, so I had very few dedicated days to write, edit, or work. But, I could utilize an hour here and there, and get plenty done by simply focusing.

Summer is a super busy time for my husband's roofing business, so we can't vacation in the summer, when normal people do. But, I can still choose to enjoy the summer, and rest, and refresh, and read.

I ended up missing 5 weeks of triathlon training this summer. I can't do the triathlon I was planning to do the second Saturday of September, and I can't run the half marathon we always do at the end of September. I'm not ready. But, I can continue to train, putting in over a hundred bike miles every week, and I can realize that this was a season missed, not a life time.

I can't really change my "Rubens" body. Trust me, I've tried. But the past two years it has just gotten more and more Rubens-y. But, I can make healthy choices, and truly stick to them.

Even though I have the spiritual gift of teaching, I can't preach in the church we attend. But, I can faithfully teach my Sunday school class. I can write-here and in other spaces. I can direct the young ladies' discipleship program.

Someone mentioned that "she hath done what she could" would make a phenomenal epitaph. I think that if that was on my grave some day, I would be quite content. Not that I'd have any say in the matter....

Doing what you can do is not a cop out. It is not settling. Doing what you can is lavish, and generous, beautiful, and sacrificial.

At least it was with this (unnamed) woman.

This was high praise, indeed.

Imagine Jesus Christ saying the same thing about you. This whole story shows what Christ appreciates, values, and sees. He values things we often don't. It was a rebuke to the disciples. It was a rebuke to my heart too.

Are you doing what you can? Or are you focusing on your can't's?