Cindi and I were going to spend some time together at 9:00 tonight after I finished my reading for tomorrow morning’s seminary class (Apologetics & Evangelism). I was pretty baked, though, after a long week and an hour and a half of Cornelius Van Til and other philosophically-oriented writers. She could tell, so she asked me how I was feeling. Basically overwhelmed with details, I answered. One of the small-but-heavy details was the high-alert disaster happening on the desk in my study. I know I never have a right or a reason to worry, but being relentlessly surrounded by a veritable mound of seemingly rhymeless and reasonless paperwork doesn’t help me not be anxious. Maybe that’s an overly colorful picture of the disorganization that’s been on my desk the past few weeks, but it’s definitely not an exaggeration of how I felt about it.
Cindi offered to help me organize it. At first I said no, because that’s not how I wanted to spend our time together. I’m a workaholic to the core, and I’m in a constant battle against the urge to spend every waking minute making myself busy. But Cindi was persistent, so into my study we went. The process went about twenty times faster than it would’ve if I was doing it myself, because Cindi is a wise, quick, practical, realistic decision-maker while I’m an overly-detailed, indecisive pack-rat who wants to have a perfect system of organization for everything and who can’t find the wherewithal to give up year-old sermon notes because I’m afraid of losing what I learned (and have probably since forgotten) about that particular sermon.
I’m now typing this post from a gloriously-clean and undistracting desk, and life all of a sudden seems much simpler. It’s not that my life responsibilities shrank all of a sudden. It’s just that at least now I can focus on them more easily.
The lesson in all of this is not that our main weapon in battling anxiety is to organize our lives better, because that would be terribly shallow and short-term. The lesson is how wonderful my wife is. When I was feeling overwhelmed, she could’ve rightfully pointed out any number of things that I could improve on in life; she could’ve been frustrated that I was absorbed with weariness and responsibilities instead of our time together; she could’ve even said graciously, “I know you have a lot going on; go ahead and do what you need to do.” But she did better than all of these. She said, “How can I help you?” Then she identified a practical area where she could help me, knowing that I’m not good at that particular thing and that she is. Then she helped me stay on task and made sure that she stayed until the job was done.
Young women, be like my wife. Young men, find someone like my wife. If you do, you will be a blessing, and you will be blessed.
As I head to sleep, I’m reminded of Proverbs 31:
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
All the days of her life (vv. 10-12).
She … works with willing hands (v. 13).
She looks well to the ways of her household
And does not eat the bread of idleness (v. 27).
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
But you surpass them all” (vv. 28-29).
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates (v. 31).
The city of Newhall has no gates where Cindi’s works can praise her. But I have seen the fruit of her hands tonight, and I will praise her to anyone who will listen.