Have any of you ever gone to a circus?
I love the circus.
I love the colors, and the sounds – the wonder, and the fantasy.
However, for some people, the circus stirs up emotions of terror.
Because, you see, I know that some people have a weird fear of clowns. There's a name for that – I looked it up. Coulrophobia. (I actually have a fear of spelling that word, but I digress).
I've never had a problem with clowns.
I liked Bozo. Hobo Kelly was OK.
Sure, there are some scary, frightful clowns out there. But circus clowns? They're all right by me.
(Incidentally, my sister has a strange aversion to the guys on stilts. Not sure where that originated. But, again, I digress).
So, me and popcorn and a soda at the circus. It's all good.
Except for one particular act.
This act gets me agitated, anxious, sweaty-in-the-palms. It makes me start to hyperventilate. It gives me nightmares…
It is the dreaded *spinning plates* act.
You know the one – when someone has all these plates spinning on top of these miniscule, treacherously flexible, dowel-like poles. At first it's OK, because most of the plates are all spinning fast.
But then, as more plates are added, others start to slow down.
THAT IS THE PART THAT I HATE.
The wobbling, dipping, quivering, threatening-to-fall-and-break part. (Which is usually accompanied by a rather frenetic rendition of "Flight of the Bumblebee"...YAWWW).
I find myself oddly speaking (shouting) out loud to the person.
"OH! Look at that one on the far left, it's almost falling off!"
"Hurry…over there on the right…HURRY!"
"OH NO! Three are starting to wobble now!"
"Spin, you crazy nut, SPIN!"
"NO, you sadist, don't put another plate on another pole!!"
(I feel justified in using all the exclamation points – it's how I feel inside!!!)
Once in a rare while, a plate actually falls and breaks. At this disaster, I feel a huge letdown – and more anxious than ever before. Oh no, I think to myself, not only can they wobble – they can actually BREAK!
Where on earth am I going with this?
Well, just this morning I was telling the women in my Bible Study that lately my life feels like that plate-spinning act. I feel like I have a million (hyperbole, for Debbie's sake) things going on in my head. I feel like I'm rushing hither and yon – spinning and re-spinning like a Mad Hatter – frantic that something is going to fall.
These two plates are my sons, and that one is my husband, and this one is our finances, and that one is health stuff – oh goodness, and those three on the end are our big decision. I've got a plate with my mom's name on it, and another with my dad's name. And church, and Bible Study, and blogging, and paperwork, and taxes, and…
Stop the world…
I. WANT. TO. GET. OFF.
The reason I shared these feelings this morning at Bible Study is because we are talking about hearing God, and doing His will.
And frankly, I'm having a lot of trouble finding QUIET within myself.
At some point today I stopped, closed my eyes, and said to God…
"I can't hear you, Lord."
And, He said back…
"No wonder. A gentle whisper can't be heard in the middle of a circus act."
(That's not a direct quote – but I certainly got His message!)
Now, I don't think that God wants all those plates to crash and fall and break. But it does occur to me that I am NOT to be the one spinning them. Last time I checked, I am NOT the Spin Master of the Universe.
He knows all about those plates, every single last one. And He's awfully good at spinning them *just so*. Under His watchful care, not a one will break. Any breakage will most likely occur when I try to do the spinning – and only end up banging into Him.
And He certainly doesn't need my help from the grandstands, speaking (shouting) directions at Him.
What He needs is a spectator who trusts Him completely – and then, He can do something very special.
He can turn to the audience and say, "Can I have a volunteer?"
And He will INVITE me to come alongside Him, to enter into the work He is doing in my life, and in the life of others. He will ask me to join Him as He unfolds the details. He'll teach me how to spin if I need to know. He'll tell me what needs my attention and what doesn't…
A whisper…"Sharon, that one on the far left. Let's go attend to that."
God is not a circus act. He is the Ringmaster. And I can trust Him.
But as long as I have my nervous eyes on those spinning plates, and think that they are ALL MY RESPONSIBILITY, I am going to be a wreck. And I won't be able to hear Him amidst the clamor of my frantic thoughts and troubled spirit.
So, I'm going to take one deep breath, and entrust the spinning plates to HIS care.
I'll wait for His invitation to come alongside, I'll wait for His instruction on how to do it right.
And no, I will NOT be tempted to try juggling!!!
Do you ever feel like your thoughts and/or life are out of control? What do you do about it?
Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"