I realized something today.
It was after I stopped moving the three envelopes around on the counter and opened them and in a moment of rare swift decision, paid the three bills. Wow. Just like that. Took care of them. I was on a role, feeling quite good about myself so bboldly, I went to my bill pile (hidden in the laundry room in a decorative bread basket) and emptied the pile on top of the washing machine. Man! What is it with these things? I think they multiply when I turn off the lights.
But today, I was not dissuaded by the sheer number of them. I picked up the top envelope, opened it and marched right to the computer and paid it on line. I even recorded it in the check register and put it in its very own file. So uncharacteristically organized of me! Amazing!
But I looked again at the bill pile and realized that they all needed attention. Again. There is the utility bill, the phone bill, the cellular phone bill, several mystery medical bills...I just paid them last month and here they are again clamoring for attention. Unsatisfied. They want more. Why is it never enough with these, these, these invasions to my life?
I know. It's time to reveal my realization. The way I feel about bills goes way beyond irritation and anxiety. The truth is, I am personally offended by them. They make me feel like I am not doing enough. I am failing. I am affronted by them! Yes, little phone bill, I spent a lot of time with you just recently and what, you're back?! You want some more from me? I'm not doing enough? Why do you keep coming? Leave me alone!
Two months ago our phone was turned off. Woops. I was really, really late in retrieving the pile from the bread basket. These guys are relentless. Yah, they sent the colored bills. Yes, I got the phone message. But I deleted it without really listening to it. I did pay attention when I didn't get a dial tone. Used my cell to call home and got the "temporarily disconnected" message. Then I hustled to retrieve and open and thank you Jesus that I could, pay the bill.
The thing is, they are not an insult. Getting a bill in the mail is not the same thing as a nasty letter sent home from a teacher to my parents tattling on me. They are just an annoying part of life. I like switching on the light in my room. I'm tying by it now. Shoot - I'm typing...plugged in at this very moment. Little marvelous conveniences that I take for granted and every single month of the year have to pay for.
And they are not a sentence on my life either. When I can pay them and when I can't. When I'm on time and when I'm late. They are just bills.
And man, is there a big ole huge pile of them on my washing machine right now. Multiplying I'm sure, at this very moment. But they lost some of their power today. Power I didn't even know I had given them. Because over the silent demand of "pay me now" came the Holy Spirit with his fabulous perception and truth and remembrance; revealing once again where my identity lies and who has the power to tell me who I am and how I'm doing. And that all is well. All manner of things are well. Pile or no pile.