I’ve been grumpy lately. Fight with my husband, stomp around angrily, yell at the dog, collapse on the couch exhausted from my own anger kind of grumpy. I don’t know why, there’s nothing wrong with my life to make me act this way: I love my husband, I love my job, I love my dog (and sometimes the cat), and I just generally love my life. But, there’s this force and this urgency just trembling beneath the surface of everyday life lately that’s putting me in a bad mood. I’m tired of a lot of things lately: I’m tired of politics taking over every conversation, I’m tired of the cold wind in the church parking lot, I’m tired of unfollowing people on Facebook – I’m really just tired of Facebook, and I’m tired of being worn out by all the things of this world.
To battle my grumpiness, I’ve been trying some earthly things that temporarily alleviate the grumpy symptoms: I rejoined the gym and go at least once a day; I’m starting to drink coffee again; I’m going to bed earlier; I’m eating fewer carbs (with the exception of at Youth Group, obviously); I’m drinking more water; I’m getting up on time(mostly). For a few minutes, each one of these things helps…and then I pick a fight with my husband because he left the light in our hallway on or I yell at the dog for sitting on the blanket I wanted to use. Basically, I morph into a 5-foot toddler who lost her sippy cup. It’s awful. The worst part is that I see it happening and I know that it’s ridiculous, but I can’t seem to stop myself.
I can’t stop myself because I’m not the ruler of my life, and when I try to be, things fall to pieces. As a follower of Christ, my goal is not to be comfortable and fit in with the ways of this world – it’s the opposite: God calls me to be in the world and not of it. When I had metaphorically picked myself up off the ground from the fit I was throwing the other day, Taylor reminded me that Paul encourages us in Romans 12 to place our lives before God: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12 : 1-2, MSG)
I’ve been preaching these words over myself the past couple of days and it’s really helped – funny how it took so long to realize God’s word is the thing to pull me out of my grumpy mood. We hear all the time that running to God and trusting in Him is what we need – and I don’t know about you, but my tendency is to still try and fix it myself first (see list above…). But at the end of the day, when nothing on that list works, I know God is the answer and I just have to humble myself and go to Him. And He takes me back every time.
If you’re feeling grumpy and down like I’ve been, I hope you find some comfort in God’s word this week – and I highly suggest starting with Romans 12 .