I’m at war with myself at the moment.
I know I’m going too fast, doing too much. I know I’m not still enough, resting enough, communing enough, investing enough in me and mine. I know I’m always looking ahead to the next thing and I know I’m rushing from emergency to emergency.
But what if I slow down? What if I stop? What if I take days to be … just to be? What if I do that?
It scares me.
There is so much to do.
There are 140 million orphaned children in the world. There are believed to be 1.5 million of these precious ones in Eastern Europe. There are believed to be around 10,000 just like my own daughter in Bulgaria alone. Children who are starving, children who do not have access to medical care. Children who do not cry because they’ve never had their cries answered.
And that’s just Bulgaria, a country close to my heart. What about Ukraine? China? Vietnam? Latvia? Korea? There are 47 countries on this globe that have children in need of families.
How can I rest? How can I slow down? How can I stop? I only have ONE of these 140 million.
I need to know God’s heart for me and mine in this plight. There is no way that he has caused the sounds of the orphan crisis to roar so loud in my ears for me to just sit and do nothing.
But here’s the thing. How can I hear his heart if I am never still? If I am never in a posture to receive but only rushing, rushing, rushing from thing one to thing one hundred and one, being urged on by the tyranny of the urgent.
There are things that must be done every day. Caring for the children. Investing in my husband. The laundry. The dishes. Feeding the animals. Paying the bills and balancing the checkbook. Making dinner. Taking a shower. Scraping stickers off the floor. (Is that just us?) Soothing nightmares. Sweeping the floor. Appointments, appointments, appointments.
There are the things that I need to do. Time at the barn with Nora and Lila and the horses. Time with Claire, cooking in the kitchen. Time with Sisi and her Mother Goose rhymes. Agents of Shield with John. Singing at church with my band kids. Hanging with my grown up kids and my family and friends. Going to church and to Bible study. Those things take up time but they feed my soul.
So where do I place that time to be still? Where do I squeeze it in? Or do I squeeze it in? Perhaps it should receive the place of honor everyday, finding it’s place first and not from amongst the leftovers.
A friend asked me this question: “In your interactions with Jesus, is he slow?” And it reminded me of a question asked by another friend about nine years ago. “How is Jesus with you?” I thought about it then and I think about it now. It’s a heavy question and it’s important to answer, because I think he is slow with me. He waits for me to settle in and quiet my heart and mind and my surroundings. He waits for me to be fully focused. He knows I need that stillness and so he waits patiently. He waits for my undivided attention and that makes me stop and think, really think …
How much have I missed in all this rushing around?
I think about how many hours of sleep I need and say to myself, “So much wasted time!” I think of the time I spend scraping stickers and I say to myself, “So much wasted time!” Time spent driving to these fifty bajillion appointments for the kids and myself and I think, “So much wasted time!”
But is it?
It takes up so many minutes and hours, my day to day. But how much of that could I be spending with the one who has numbered my days, who knows how many minutes I’ve been alive and will be alive?
It’s not wasted time. And the time I spend being still and being calm and being quiet and just being … it’s not wasted time either.
I’m challenging myself to just try. Stop. Stop rushing and calm down. Stop running. Stop fretting. For a block of time every single day, shut down the noise and just be still.
Be with Jesus.