Sunday, February 19, 2012

All first borns raise your hands!

First Child: perfectionist, reliable, conscientious, a list maker, well organized, hard driving, a natural leader, critical, serious, scholarly, logical, doesn’t like surprises, a techie.smarter, better educated, earns more money, favorites, make good counselors, teachers, pastors, mentors and physicians, goal setters, high achievers, responsible, rule keepers, determined, detail people, more verbally articulate,less impulsive, better performers in school, need to achieve, need to please.

So, some of you first borns will look at the list of qualities and pat yourself  on the back.  You may be saying to yourself " Yep, that's me, an achiever, always coming out on top!" You thrive in an environment that lets you constantly win the daily battles.  You love the thrill of a day where you fought and won, you had the answers, you could cross everything off your "to do" list with that red pen ( to make a point of course), You face each day very conscience of everything going on around you, all that needs to be done, and though sometimes do it. You stay focused, your eye is on the goal.You want everyone to step up to the plate, your serious when you need to be and critical too..not to be mean because your heart wants everyone to succeed,but because you need everything to be just right. You teach, you lead, you counsel. You want everything to be perfect and you expect it.

Some of you first borns are looking at this list and your stressed, your emotional, weary, tired and wondering if you can keep it up. You want need rest, yet you don't know how to. There is so much to do and so many that rely on you that to stop is out of the question.  You feel such a strong need to please others, such desire to be an over achiever to perform at your highest and best every day. And then there is that little voice inside of you that little place in your heart that wants to stop and not worry about everything and everyone.

I've been in the latter group. I've carried around unneeded stress and issues. I have allowed the weight of the world to rest on my shoulders. I've faced each day as if the happiness of everyone depends on me...It is a hard place to be and a struggle...

God does not want us first borns to walk around with the weight of the world on our shoulders, He has made us strong and given us these wonderful strengths.  But He also wants us to rest in Him and remember that He is in control and the problems that we face, the issues that arise were not meant for us to solve on our own. We have to remember Who is ultimately in control. God will never help us to be anyone other than ourselves, so we need to stop putting the added stress of being everything to everyone on ourselves.

As first borns, we need to learn to laugh. We tend to be so heavy about everything, taking everything so seriously. I know I do this! I expect perfection from myself in every area of my life: My sin:I see it as unforgiving. My gifts: I see them as something I better be exercising every day or I fail others. My growth in God:I see it as if I miss a day of reading my bible I've failed God...... We carry around such heavy burdens that maybe if we found joy in Christ, joy in the day the Lord has made, we would find the load a little lighter.

As first borns we need to learn to lay our burdens down  and not perceive them as needing to be handled on our own. We need to remember God cares for us and isn't leaving us out here on our own to fend for ourselves. I am learning to look at my daily to do list and say to myself what are the things on here that will be okay if they are done today, tomorrow, the next day, week or month? What if I didn't get to an item on my to do list at all? Would the world fall apart?? We need to lay everything down and depend on God to help us do what we can do. 

As first borns we need to stop being over achievers and thriving on our success as if they were all our doing. Half the things on my list are for my own personal self satisfaction as an over achiever and really play a non vital role in my day to day tasks. God doesn't just give us strength to get things done-He is our Strength.  He doesn't just give us victory -He is our Victory. We need to remember that apart from God we can do nothing and give Him all the credit in our successes.

Jesus was a first born, He should be our role model on how to handle all life throws at us.  Getting away by ourselves, praying, letting others teach and we listen and watch. He walked away from opportunities to teach and preach because it wasn't what God the Father wanted Him to do. So why if in God's infinite wisdom he had Jesus walk away from opportunities, do we think we can't? Not everything is for us to handle first borns, God did not make us that way or for that purpose. 

So from one over achieving,list making ,organized, perfectionist first born to another..Let's take time for ourselves, pray, get away from the crowds and the demands, listen, watch and rest.  And if you need to, find yourself  a garden to meditate in or get on a boat and relax... but take your cue from Jesus and remember He did give you the gifts and strengths you have but not to exercise them 24/7. He also created you to enjoy His creation, so go...enjoy..Rest and don't be weary. Be encouraged, don't worry. Be yoked with God and remember His burden is light and with Him we will find rest for our souls....