I had big plans for my day today. I intended to drop the kids off for school, make a phone call, attend Bible study, do some volunteer editing work (something I’m doing as a favor), prepare for American Heritage Girls tonight, and prepare a healthy dinner that I could pop in the oven and serve to my family before racing out the door for our weekly troop meeting. Obviously, all of these things would be done in the midst of dropping off and picking up kids, fielding e-mails and phone calls, tidying the house here and there, and managing the homework and conflicts of my four darling children.
But when I was driving home after dropping Tiger and Lucy at their school, the engine light came on in my van. Knowing that I have to drive across town for American Heritage Girls tonight, Mr. P and I decided it would be prudent to have the issue checked out by our mechanic. I didn’t want to be stranded 20 miles from home later in the day. So, I dropped Boy Patriot and Hermione at school and headed for the mechanic. They checked the light and said it would require a more extensive diagnostic to figure out the problem, so I left my keys and walked to a nearby coffee shop, all the while grumbling about my schedule being thrown off.
It’s at this point that I should perhaps let you all know that I am barely keeping my head above water right now with all the things going on in my life. My schedule is ridiculously full, and I am continually conscious of how many people are depending on me for various things. I have not had a lot of time lately to see to my own personal rest needs; I’ve made daily Bible reading a priority, but I’ve had precious little time to knit, read, or sew.
My life is an exercise in damage control.
So here I was, engaged in a rather profound and eloquent grumbling session with God, when He gently said, “stop. That’s enough. Look around and think for a minute.”
I was sitting on a couch in a cafe frequented by fellow believers. I had a fresh cup of coffee before me. I had a pair of socks on needles in my purse. We were blessed with an unusually warm October day for our area of the country, and the sun was streaming in through a huge picture window next to me. Across the street, my favorite local yarn shop would be open in 20 minutes, and if I walked just a couple of blocks further, I could sit in the local library. All around in that part of town are little shops, cafes, and restaurants. I had everything I needed.
More important, though, was what I didn’t have. I hadn’t had time to gather any of my “have tos” before heading out, so all I had was my knitting project. No Pulitzer-prize winning novel to keep wading through because I feel like I have to read it. No volunteer editing project. No AHG work. Just me, my needles, a cup of coffee, and my Bible Gateway app.
I read my Bible. I knitted. I browsed Twitter for a bit. When the mechanic called to say they’d found the problem and would get the van finished by the time I needed it, it was almost lunchtime. I headed across the street to the yarn shop, just to browse, and discovered my best friend in there, picking up a pair of needles. We had lunch together, spur of the moment, and it was lovely. I visited the library and a specialty grocery store, and by then, my van was ready.
I am trying to look for God in the little things, and I think I may have found Him today. Is it possible that He looked at my schedule of late, that He searched me and knew my anxious thoughts, that He understood that if I didn’t stop voluntarily, I would stop out of necessity in utter exhaustion very shortly?
I don’t know. What I do know is that I rested, on a Tuesday, in the middle of a schedule that won’t let up, and the world didn’t end. The world continues to revolve when I’m not active in it. The center of the universe does not run through the top of my head. It’s easy for us to think that only the celebrity or the elite or the spoiled child has this mentality, but those of us who think the world depends on us have it, too. In reality, we are very small parts of a very big world that will continue to function should we be unavailable for a while.
I have to remember this. I am not indispensable. And there’s no point in acting as if I am if doing so means that I get used up and emptied long before my time. A time of rest refills, reinvigorates, and energizes. We need rest.
When my children were small, I could read their energy levels far better than they could. My oldest was especially difficult for other people to read, because he would get MORE energetic the more tired he grew. I would eventually have to step in, pull him away from the world, and tell him to take a nap or go to bed.
I needed a rest, and I wasn’t taking one. And through a inconvenient, frustrating event, my loving Father saw that I got it.
Till next we meet . . .