Friday, March 23, 2007

Willing to be Made Willing

A friend recently shared something that she had read about a woman who was struggling with a decision to enter into a particular Christian service.
She told God, "I am not willing, but I am willing to be made willing."
That is at the core of so many of our issues, isn't it? We think that we are right, and so we are unwilling to change: to listen to another opinion that might sway our thoughts, to do things a little bit differently, because we know that our way is the right way, to step out of our comfort zone to embark on a new venture that might be a bit uncomfortable.

The first thought that entered my head as an area of unwillingness was housekeeping and care for my family. It's not that I am resistant to it, because most things like dinner preparation and cleanup and laundry have to be done whether or not I'm willing. Baths have to be given and pajamas have to be put on whether or not I want to do it. But when my heart has the right attitude of seeing it as a part of my job and wanting to do it fully and happily, then it's not so unpleasant.

So this week, each time I saw that pile of dishes in the sink and felt a bad attitude coming on, I simply sighed, "I'm not willing, Lord," followed quickly by, "but I'm willing to be made willing," as I tackled the task at hand. Did it work? Well, if we are assuming that I now love to do dishes and make lunches and dinner (again, and again, and again), then no, it didn't work. However, if the standard for it working is that I am complaining less, or feeling less put-upon by the rigors of being a full-time housewife and mom, then it is working.

Is there an area that immediately stood out to you for which you need to be willing to be made willing? Will you commit to pray and see if a change in attitude results in a change of action?

12 comments:

Heather said...

I like that line. It reminds me of a "I believe; help my unbelief" sort of thing.
Good challenge for us all.

Ellen B. said...

Yes, God has been working on me to make me willing to ask forgiveness from 3 different people. I was full of excuses. He is gracious. One down, two to go. :)
Thanks for stopping my my blog...

Carrie said...

Oohh wow. That was just the quote I needed for today! Perfectly timed. My mother-in-law died a week ago and we have my husbands two younger sisters living with us for the next month. It's been going REALLY well, actually, and we're enjoying each other's company. However, today has been a "grouchy" day for the whole lot of us and I've felt like screaming all morning along. It's been a challenge! And I needed a reminder that God is in control and He'll give me just what I need, just when I need it. And He just did that through you.

Thanks!

Andrea said...

I like that--looking at the dishes and saying, "Lord make me willing." Your quote reminds me of "The Lord doesn't call the equipped, but He equips the called."

Susanne said...

This was a great post, Jennifer. Sometimes it is all about our attitude. We will not always be jumping for joy in everything that we need to do or are called to do. But if we could just ask to be made willing then the Holy Spirit is able to move in and change our hearts and attitudes.

An area for me? The seemingly continuous, unending straigtening up of the house.

Pleasant View Family said...

Great evening read - It was perfectly in line with what I've been struggling with and striving towards this month. Thank you for sharing your journey and affirming us in ours!

ann :)

Kim said...

Great post, Jennifer. I'm sending you an email with more info...

Patti (Mazy) said...

So often lately I find myself in moments just as you described. This very thing of caring for children, housekeeping, errands, on and on and on, is My Job and too often lately I've been fighting it. I do need to wise up and embrace it because it makes the task so much more pleasant. Willing to be made willing.

Joyful Days said...

Well said. I find when I do the things I obviously need to (but am unwilling to) I am blessed. Maybe with just a sense of accomplishment, but so much better than a sense of things hanging over my head.

I've put off cleaning the garage forever and just went ahead yesterday and did it. Found things that were "lost." The garage is now "safe" to navagate. I feel better.

org junkie said...

I am going to copy that quote and post it somewhere where I can see it on a regular basis. I need to change my attitude before I can expect my children to change theirs.

I love your life lesson posts!
Laura

Dianne said...

Great post, Jennifer. I will keep that in mind "willing to be made willing." Thanks for sharing.

Katrina said...

Thanks for this. Great insight, and great approach. Willing to be made willing is the first step, and a good one to make in so many areas.