In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat–for he grants sleep to those he loves (Psalm 127:2 NIV).
Friend to Friend
There’s something my husband James calls the cupcake spirit.
It all began years ago when I promised to bring cupcakes to my child’s classroom. I was up late baking those cupcakes because I didn’t have any time earlier in the day to get it done. It made perfect sense to me. I was doing it out of necessity. James thought it was a ridiculous use of time.
“Why don’t you just buy cupcakes tomorrow morning?” he asked as I fired up the oven well past 10. “I planned to make cupcakes and that’s what I’m going to do!” I huffed. Truth be told, I didn’t want to make those cupcakes, either. I just wanted to go to bed. I’m not a baker or a cook–maybe that’s why I had made it so important to make those cupcakes instead of buying them. I was going to prove to myself and my husband and the world that I could do it!
This is the incident that defined “the cupcake spirit” in our home. Whenever James thinks I’m doing something extra, unnecessary, or over-the-top, he bellows out, “Cupcake spirit!”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s bad to bring cupcakes to the classroom. I’m just saying that sometimes we burden ourselves with things that are not really that important. The cupcake spirit is about doing more than is necessary to our own harm.
Today’s key verse cautions us against excessive striving: “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat–for he grants sleep to those he loves (Psalm 127:2 NIV).
God offers sleep for our striving; rest for our restlessness.
The preceding verses reveal the why behind the vanity of the cupcake spirit. Verse 1 (NIV) says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”
I might work all night long but unless God is in it, my efforts are futile. Ultimately, it is God who provides everything we need. It is God who protects. We don’t have to work relentlessly, early in the morning, late into the night to ensure our well being. The Bible says God gives us sleep. We can give our burdens and problems to Him instead of staying up into the night worrying about cupcakes, bills, work problems, and relationships.
When I’m running ragged, existing on little sleep, I am not a happy camper. But if I get enough rest, I am much kinder and more reasonable to myself and others. Somehow we’ve bought the lie that it’s nobler to do more and sleep less. Sometimes it’s the cupcake spirit that’s keeping us awake at night, doing things that don’t really have to be done.
In Matthew 6, Jesus is teaching the disciples how to pray. Right in the middle of what is known as the Lord’s Prayer, He says, “Give us today our daily bread” (verse 11, NIV). God is inviting us to pray for our needs–our daily bread, not our daily cupcakes! There may be some extras in our lives that we spend a lot of time on, but they are not really things we need. Let’s push against the cupcake spirit, lean on the Holy Spirit, and dim the lights early tonight for a good night’s sleep. After all, God gives His beloved rest.
Dear God, thank You for providing every single thing I need each day. Help me to discern between the important and unimportant in my life. Show me areas of my life that I can simplify to get more rest. I am not going to worry about tomorrow, because I know you have taken care of today.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
When do you exhibit the cupcake spirit (doing more than is necessary to your own harm)? What’s something you can take off your to-do list to simplify your life?
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