I read somewhere recently that the habit of making one’s bed every morning is the sign of a mature person. “Huh,” I thought; “I am less mature than I thought.”
Not that I am a slob, mind you. I smooth out the comforter over the pillows I have straightened, so that the bed looks decently presentable. But I do not go all the way to pulling up the spread and tucking it neatly under and then over the pillows, arranging more pillows on top so as to look like those bedroom furniture advertisements I get too many of in the mail. Okay, so maybe I am rationalizing my own laziness. But the way I figure it, it is hard enough for me to crawl out of my warm, snuggy bed without the added burden (burden, yet!) of trying to make the bedroom look pristine and presentable in case there are any news photographers in the neighborhood looking for a house to feature in the Sunday magazine. No one will see my unmade bed but me (and maybe LouLu).
The world seems full of people who want to tell you how to be something: mature, successful, rich, pain-free, cancer-free, thin, and – as if this were not bad enough, the world is also populated by folks who want to tell you how to be good. For me, the word good has religious and ethical overtones. More than once I have asked myself, when facing a decision, “What would Jesus do?”
I am not so sure Jesus would set a priority on making his bed every morning. I am pretty sure Jesus had more urgent things to do, and woke up morning after morning prayerfully ready to let God lead him to them.
So, how about me (and you)? What gets you up in the morning? No, I am not talking about the alarm clock! What sends you out into the world every day? Or what sets your daily agendas? Retirement means you get to set your own agenda, and since I am retired, I just might not put making the bed very high on my list. Who is helped by a neat bedroom?
Okay, each of us has to set his/her own priorities. And perhaps high on my list is trying to live without unreflectively following someone else’s advice or trying to live up to someone else’s expectations of me. I am of an age when I can set my own priorities for how I use my time, and the only rule I try to follow is that of faithfulness. As the song says, “I’m gonna live so God can use me.” I think about that every day, and try to live into it.
That said, I do make my husband’s hospital bed every day. It’s an act of love.