I throw little tantrums. I do this all day long. I mostly manage to lose it briefly and in private, in a way that cannot be overheard by my children. Where I wash my family’s dishes in our bathroom sink (using a meticulous system involving a series of dedicated dishpans– don’t ask/long story), I stomp my foot in protest as a freshly-washed knife slips and clatters to the tile floor. My face grows hot with frustration at the struck drawer in our kitchen corner, or as I play one too many daily rounds of Tetris (or Jenga) putting leftovers in our mini fridge (Don’t worry- we also have shared fridge space with our housemates who live downstairs). Under my breath, I cuss. A lot. My children do not know this. Or…maybe by now they do.
As a Christian, I long for the redemption of all things. I long for the groaning Creation to be made new, for the shattered to be made whole again, for my aging body to again find a strength it hasn’t known since before having children. But at the moment, I really would like to be able to tug on my silverware drawer and have it open…effortlessly.
In my lifetime, innovations in convenience have skyrocketed. Incidentally, one multi-billionaire (who likely would have prioritized differently had he a stuck drawer or two to keep him busy), spent perfectly good money to rocket himself into space.
Like many people, my family is looking for a house to own. We have made do in a small space that was not designed to be an apartment, and we use a very makeshift kitchen. When we, after paying down student loans, felt finally ready to buy a house, we ran smack into a sellers’ market. Last Sunday, driving to tour yet another prospective home, all three children arguing and bickering, I thought aloud, “No matter what house we get, all these people are going to be in it.” I was being funny, but it’s also true.
We expect convenience, and have learned that money can buy it for us. We have also been conditioned to believe that convenience can rescue us from those angrier, more stressed-out versions of ourselves– that having our own personal and private versions of everything will keep us from bickering and fighting like children. While these “better” circumstances may help us to better hide our immaturity, they do not actually transform us. The needed work on ourselves still remains. Wherever we go, we bring ourselves with us (even if we could afford to shoot ourselves into outer space).