Playing to an Audience of One

Our pastor’s sermon series is discussing the life of Job. You know Job. He was the Old Testament man who was blameless and upright. He feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1 NKJV).

As we are told, God took everything away from him — his family, his wealth, his friends and finally his health. And when He appeared to Job it was in the form of a whirlwind.

I’ve been in a minor earthly whirlwind (and in no way do I mean to make light of those who have had their lives devastated by real-life whirlwinds such as tornadoes.) The winds I have been in are similar to ones encountered by every parent and adult. Fierce gusts of too much activity–mostly good, but too much of job-hunting and home management and cooking and sports and school and extra-activities– and not enough downtime or appreciation (but that’s the subject of another blog). Swishing around me is the stress to make the right decisions (or making 180 degree about-turns) in parenting skills. Juggling the expectations of others — particularly close family members and one’s own expectations — and failing miserably and publicly.

This week the chaos became too much, and our pastor’s analogy was appropriate. “Your life is like your teenager’s bedroom. How can you bring order to this?” asked Rev. Tom Berlin as we laughed at the large screen graphic of a kid’s room with belongings cluttering every square centimeter. Yes, it’s been a few days of struggling with chaos when I love order so much. I crave order and simplicity and certainty.  All the things that God might not want for me, according to Pastor Tom.  Life — even with the frequent closeness of a relationship with the Lord — is not simple, it’s complex. And just when I think I know how and when to cultivate this most important relationship it is not certain. He is silent to my prayers and He is a total mystery once again.

Kitty, my friend and neighbor, caught me at just the critical moment this week. As I poured out my feelings of failure as a mother, wife, homemaker, job-hunter and writer, she kindly suggested a way to sort it all out. Try to remember, she said, “that you are playing to an audience of one.” The Lord God is that one. Forget the opinions and expectations of others, because honestly, no one can satisfy everyone else all the time. But ask yourself, she said, “if He is the only one who sees what I am doing today, what will He think?”

I am surely not blameless, as Job was. Job was upright and shunned evil and God dealt him a very bad hand. But Job finally realized that he was not abandoned, that God was still with him. I’ll try to remember that these days and step out of the little whirlwinds and know who is the most important audience. I’ll stop and ask Him if I am acting the parts that he wants me to act in — and ask for an honest assessment of how I’m doing.

Blessings and kind regards to you all.


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