Tuesday, May 17, 2011

To Whom Much Has Been Given, Much is Expected

Luke 12:48 is a favorite of mine. I love that Bible verse. I try to live by that verse. At times that verse has bitten me in the ass. Problem seems to be in the word "much." I take "much" to mean "until I drop." Pretty sure that is not what "much" actually means.

I have been given so much. Wouldn't trade my life for anyone's. Nobody's. Not the people with nicer homes. Not the people that take fabulous vacations. Not with the ones that drive nice cars (or anything younger than 1997, for that matter). Not with the ones who have only typical children. Not with the ones with more time, money, energy, youth, reserves of every kind. Simply nobody.

Got the "You don't work, what do you do all day?" question recently by a well-meaning person. (BTW, I've decided that 90 - 99% of people are well-meaning. What do you think?) I was at a total loss on how to answer that question. It's not that I don't know what I do all day, but I felt it impossible to convey it to someone that is not married, does not have kids, let alone special needs kids, does not have a house to clean, etc., etc., etc. It is not that her life is not super busy - it is - it is just very, very different from mine, and so I simply said, "I try to help a lot of people."

That answer satisfied her, and then I spent some time (because I don't work, I have all kinds of time to ponder life's big questions) thinking about whether or not it satisfied me.

I know when I have caregiver fatigue when I get cranky, short-tempered and the incoming request to drive a forgotten _________ (camera, change of clothes, wallet...) out to someone, or pick up the last minute __________ (gift, prescription, gluten-free item), or any number of the thankless, not-that-important-but-important-anyway things I do on any given day, make me want to scream.

I know that I've landed on the magic formula when these requests illicit a I-am-so-grateful-I-have-the-opportunity-to-help response in me. When a friend needs to go on a walk to vent/process, or go have coffee to share something they're struggling with, and I can do that, I am grateful. When I can run an extra errand or two when I'm already out running errands, I am grateful. When I can meet with a mom whose child is going through the diagnosis process, I am grateful. When I can send an e-mail, a card, forward along a Website or resource, I am grateful.

To whom much has been given, as much as can be expected, but no more, is just right.

* Photo from: http://lillianknight.com

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