There are some things we know by instinct. For instance, if you feel pangs in your stomach and an empty, gnawing feeling, you know you need food. If you sense something flying toward your head, you duck. If you are sad, you cry. No one has to teach you these things. You just instinctually DO them.
There are also things that do not occur instinctually. Tying your shoes, making your bed, learning calculus, and playing piano do not come instinctually for most people. I have found in my life one thing that does not come instinctually. Unfortunately the opposite of this thing comes more instinctually than the thing itself. This “thing” is setting boundaries in my time and knowing how to say “no” to what one friend calls “time vampires”. I must admit that I love to have activity in my life. I love to go from adventure to adventure. It just comes very naturally for a sanguine girl like myself.
I have noticed that the more beings to care for that I have added to my life, the more complicated the schedule becomes just by default. One child equals extra trips to the doctor in a given year and new friends and lessons for skills I would like said child to acquire. With two children comes that – exponentially. Throw in animals and a husband (husband first) and that is now extra visits to the vet and pet store (not for the husband) for food. So, before children (aka BC), when I just had the occasional trip to the doc for my check up, now I have several yearly check-ups and the added sick visits that are inevitable with all of these extra living beings surrounding me. This is just one example of a calen-centric (that’s a new word for calendar focused life) event. And that is just under the heading “doctor/vet”.
But even babies have a way of forcing us to be still. When the Christ child came to this earth, those who were paying attention were forced to stop and be still. It is hard to bend a knee in worship and move around in activity in tandem. It is hard to both be still, know He is God, AND be moving around with the “to do” list caught in the folds of your brain.
Before husband and children and animals, the schedule was very exciting and easy to control. Now, the schedule can be monster. It awakens me every morning with an overwhelming sense of whether or not I can conquer it by day’s end. Will the beast be tamed to allow for at least 8 hours of sleep (probably not)? Will the “To-Do” list be wiped clean by day’s end (no WAY!)? Will my gas tank thank me in 7 days instead of 3 (begin laugh track)? I told a friend the other day that it would be so nice to wake up one morning and feel, well, underwhelmed by the flurry of activity that is always staring me in the face.
But wait………….if I don’t say yes to every inquiry that comes to my doorstep, won’t you kids be denied certain rights and privileges? If I don’t let every friend’s invitation to “DO” something somehow find it’s way onto my calendar (especially if they don’t know Jesus), won’t that be a wasted opportunity to bring them closer to Jesus (as if somehow it is MY doing that does that). If, What if, why, how, because, but………………
STOP THE NOISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Enter in…………..Sabbath rest. Boundaries. Stillness. “NO. I can’t. I’m sorry. I just need to decline.”
There are many commands in scripture that teach us how to live. Love one another. Sing to the Lord a new song. Teach us to number our days. Do not lie. Do not cheat. Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Be still and know that I am God…………
Wait, did I just read that? Be what? Be busy? Be consumed? Be hectic? NO, something so beautiful yet so foreign to my inner being and the culture that incessantly knocks and knocks and knocks on the door of my sanity-daily, hourly, almost every minute. Filled up. Consumed. Energized yet drained of stability.
That’s is! That’s the answer. All along the wisdom of those 8 sweet, precious words have been in my repertoire of verses I learned as a child. That is the solution to the insanity. Even in the absence of an activity, I am still “doing” if I am just “Being”! This is such wonderful news in a sea of constant noise, constant movement, constant constants! To just be still and meditate on God, what a beautiful thing!
There are seasons to life just as there are seasons in our earth. For some crazy reason, I try to do the spring, summer and fall of life all at the same time. But, I try to avoid winter at all costs. Winter is still. Winter is cold. Winter is barren. But, winter is the season where life is dormant. Life is at rest. Horticulturalists are certain that winter’s coldness and dormancy bring about more bountiful harvests in some plants. In fact, certain plants do not do well if the winter freeze does not come. This concept is true in nature and it is true of life. I have friends who live where it is sunshine and summer all the time. Not only is it desert where they live, it is dry, parched and barren of much natural beauty. They wish they could see snow. Some never have. They long for some change in their scenery. But, it does not come.
I want to have seasons of rest. I want to have times where I can be still so I can know God. I want to have a pace that does not cause me tension headaches, irritable mood swings, and a parched soul. Winter is the answer.
I want to see snowflakes. I want to hear Winter.