Photo by Ian Higgins.flickr.creative commons I recently discovered the reminder feature on my smartphone.

This allows me to give myself tasks to complete, sending myself texts at prearranged times. If I don't do it for a little while, one of those little red notifications will appear on my screen. Those little notifications stress me out.

When I first stumbled upon this feature, the possibilities stretched out before me endlessly. I quickly added vacuuming, washing my sheets and backing up my computer to my reminder list.

Several times a day, my phone tells me to do something. Rather, several times a day I ask myself to do something in a voice from the past. These are my expectations talking.

If you've been reading much of this blog lately, you'll realize that this is a challenging season for me. In many ways, it is extremely wonderful, but it is forcing me to take a good, hard look at what is important, and act accordingly.

This past week, on my way to work, I was very heavily struck by Micah 6:8:

"No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."


This popular verse follows a section of Scripture which features Israel asking God what He wants:

"What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give Him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves?  Should we offer Him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?"

(Micah 6:6-7, NLT)

I think this way sometimes.

If I can just keep all the plates spinning in the air: if I can keep my laundry done, my house clean and my library books from being late, then all will be well. This will be enough for God.

photo by sciencesque.flickr.creativecommons

If I keep up with all of my friendships and do everything perfectly at work and am always sweet and charming under pressure, then God will love me.

I have lived my life under the banner of God's love. I have walked with Him since I was tiny. It has not always been a smooth road, but He has never left me alone, just as He promised. He has also never imposed these expectations on me.

I did that on my own.

This past week, I realized that God won't love me less if I don't vacuum my rug. I also realized that I won't love me less either. I clarified my priorities and stopped asking myself to do everything, I even removed most of my reminders from my phone. I already feel better.

Actually, I got a whole lot more done, after I let myself off the hook, but that's not the point. The things that need to be done will be done, I believe that, but no amount of guilt or pressure from me is going to make it happen any faster or better. If anything, heaping expectations on my own shoulders will only make everything worse.

Offering sacrifices, and vats of oil and good works and stuff is not how I make myself acceptable to God.

He already did that. Who am I to question it?