Recently, I was fired from my job—the one where I keep constant watch over my little realm and feel inexplicably responsible if anything bad happens. Such a state of watchfulness requires long hours and grueling work. Sometimes I can’t sleep because of being so attentive to my duties. When bad things happen, I feel responsible even if they occur because of the wrong actions of others. My irrational reasoning is that I should have seen what was coming and done everything within my power to influence or prevent it from happening.
To work like this is exhausting, but as far back as I can remember, I have been “employed” in this position. (Parents of overly conscientious children should take note. I first heard about the job when I was very young.) My faulty reasoning came from believing the warped whispers of El Liar Supremo, Tex-Mex for Mr. Devil himself.
In my exit interview, The Boss pointed out how I had wasted my human resource and suffered needlessly, because I took on the blame and shame for the misdeeds of others, all because of my distorted sense of responsibility. Also despite my vigilant watch, bad things came along and happened anyway. Events occurred that I never even anticipated.
In reflecting on my many years of employment as a cosmic security guard, I now agree that I was wrongfully hired and rightfully terminated, because the only one who keeps constant watch over my realm is The Boss, Himself.
The Psalmist speaks about this Boss, God, and His people in Psalm 125. Mountains are the symbol of their relationship. The verses say that those who trust in Him are like an unmovable mountain. They also mention that God is “round about His people” like the mountains are round about Jerusalem. The structure is for God to be the “watcher,” and His people are the ones He surrounds and watches over.
“Those who trust in, lean on, and confidently hope in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides and stands fast forever.
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from this time forth and forever.” Psalm 125:1-2
“My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip or be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand….The Lord will keep you from evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and coming in from this time forth and forever more.” Psalm 121: 2-8
It turns out that my tendency for extreme watchfulness is needless. The Boss tells me I am not cut out for the job. My only responsibility is to trust and be His person.
What a relief! It’s great to be fired!
God, the work of “watching over” is all-consuming. I know from Your words that You never asked me to take the position. Help me un-learn a very old habit. Help me to trust that You are in front of me leading the way. Thank you for Your slumber-less watch and that You are “round about” me always. Amenl