I love skittles, and as a child one of my favorite things was to get a bag of skittles and separate them out by color. I would eat the weird purple/brown ones first, and then green, and then yellow, and then orange, and then take part in the ultimate loveliness of the red ones. Perhaps I did this because I am OCD. Or perhaps because it is the best way to eat Skittles. Either way…
I loved doing this with Skittles because I could organize, control, and compartmentalize the skittles into perfect submission. I always like being able to organize things. I like to do the same thing with my feelings. If I feel overwhelmed, or tired, or confused about what to do with my life, I like to sit down and sort through my feelings like a bag of skittles.
This feeling goes in Worry-about-it-tomorrow-pile
This feeling goes in the write-a-journal-entry-and-get-over-it-pile
This feeling goes into the call-mom pile
You get the idea… do you ever do that?
Yesterday my dorm had a spiritual renewal retreat. We talked about deep spiritual things, and then the leader sent us off into various corners of the house with a list of verses and questions to contemplate. The first section asked me to take a moment to dispense with any distractions, and so I began skittle sorting.
As I began skittle scooting, I suddenly realized there were a lot of skittles, and they were not apt to be organized. I sat there, for five…ten…fifteen…twenty minutes… concerns, unsurety, finals, papers clouded my mind and no matter how I tried I could not separate them from myself enough to focus and be pious.
I prayed an exasperatedly…
Hold on just a minute. Can we sort these skittles first? Then we can talk. Thanks. That would be great.”
And you know what? I never did exactly sort out my skittles that day. But, I realized this; Sometimes all I can (and should) do is to simply ‘Be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). Psalm 46 is a whole Psalm on this idea. The very essence of living a life of faith is often living in the tension and the balance, and letting God in. The psalm shows complete trust in God “though the mountains fall into the Sea.” (Vs 2). Life is not like Skittles, and sometimes you can’t just sit down and sort it out. But God is steadfast, loving, and not surprised by your questions, stresses, or ever your sin.
I accepted that reality, and a still small voice whispered this to me…
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”- Romans 8:15
God is our father, who we can cry out to. A father does not expect a child to have all his Skittles straightened. In fact, just as a father would help their child sort out their skittles with ease, so God will sort or worries and difficulties with caring and capable hands.
So, my admonition to you (and to myself), is to trust God. Trust him even when you’re not entirely sure what you are trusting him for.
And let him sort out your skittles.
He’s good at that.
All for now,