Well, really the church bus, but I’ll be in motion just the same.
In two days, I’ll hear the beeping of the alarm long before my usual hour. I’m so unaccustomed to waking with a clock instead of children that I actually don’t know where the shut-off button is. So, I’ll pull the plug out of the wall to quiet the noise instead.
I’ll tiptoe to the clothes I’ve laid out and head for the bathroom to prepare for the day. Then I’ll grab the bag I’ve packed and say goodbye to a husband and children still sleeping. Grabbing my cup of tea off the counter and my keys off the nail, I’ll shut the door behind me and drive off for a two-day trip to Women of Faith.
Why am I going? My husbands and kids are wonderful. I’m not running away. But I have my reasons.
I’m going so I’m forced to step away from the endless motion of my everyday. Oswald Chambers wrote: “Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once, asking Him to re-establish your rest.”
It’s all of the daily life choices and battles that chip away at our faith. We’re distracted. We’re annoyed. We’re confused. We’re tired.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Over time, I feel it, the weariness, the burdens. They accumulate over days and months.
Daily quiet times help. I temporarily rest at His feet and toss the bundles I’m carrying to the side. But, I leap up from the table after time in the Word and it’s back to phone calls and emails, carpooling, activities, planning and laundry.
And the thing about daily life is that it is . . . daily.
Shocking revelation, I know. But it’s not just the motion that tires me over time; it’s the perpetual motion.
It’s rising every morning to empty the dishwasher and reload it . . . . again.
Making beds, packing lunches, toasting bread and pouring milk . . . again.
Tossing clothes into the washer and grabbing towels out of the dryer . . . again.
Cleaning dried-on toothpaste off the bathroom walls . . . again.
Eventually I need more than a temporary refresher. I need to retreat from it all to re-establish rest. In Mark 6:31, it says,
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Re-align My Focus:
And I’ll re-align my focus. The thing about being bogged down in the daily is that our definition of crisis begins to distort.
In the past few months, I’ve lain awake for hours in the middle of the night over:
- where my daughter will go to kindergarten
- whether the local theater company will cancel next year’s theater camp
- how our budget will work out
- who will participate in the Christmas cantata at church
- what Christmas crafts to make as gifts for others
- what to do about our car now sitting broken down and beyond hope at the mechanic’s
- what book to study for my small group
- how many words my two-year-old can or can’t say
Patsy Clairmont wrote, “At times, trusting God in the minutia of life is as difficult as trusting him for a walking-on-water miracle.” Each of these situations felt like a true crisis to me. Enough to rob me of sleep and to transform me in Jekyll-and-Hyde-fashion into Grumpy Mom who sighs a lot and stomps around the house.
I’m tossing and turning at night because I’ve gripped my hand around each of these issues so tight God can’t pry my fingers off with a crowbar. My knuckles are white.
So I am removing myself from this close-up perspective of my life where the tiniest anomaly blips onto my radar as if it’s the end of the world. I’m putting aside the to-do list that runs my life like a drill sergeant. For a weekend, I’ll stop staring at my life and lift my head up instead to see Jesus.
In Psalm 3, David wrote, “But you, O Lord, are a shield for me; My glory and the one who lifts up my head.”
Instead of going through life shoulders hunched, head down, eyes staring at circumstances, I’m asking that God lift up my head so I can see His face, see His eyes of love and grace, see the reminder in the palm of His hands that He’s going to do everything imaginable and more to take care of me.
In that same Psalm, David also wrote: “Salvation belongs to the Lord” (verse 8). This “salvation” means “deliverance from the immediate pressure” he was feeling. One of the meanings of this Hebrew word for salvation is “room to breathe.”
Sometimes the daily grind is suffocating and busyness knocks the wind out of me. I need deliverance from the immediate pressures that monopolize my attention and salvation from the stresses that take my breath away.
I’m leaving so I can find room to breathe.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.