So, time for a confession. If you’ve ever traveled with me, you know that I don’t like to drive in cities. In fact, it’s pretty much one of my least favorite things to do. The past two weekends I took continuing education classes in Lexington, so I got my fill of city traffic.
Yesterday when I left Lexington for home, I missed one of the first turns, because I thought the ramp was closed for construction. I drove by and looked at it wistfully. It was, in fact, open. Construction cones lined both sides of the curve, but it was drivable. My trusty GPS, Greta, informed me she was recalculating. We had a rather animated conversation. Her voice stayed unconcerned. Mine grew shriller by the second.
Greta obligingly took me through a series of left turns in the busy downtown afternoon traffic before leading me to a two lane road between fields and historic houses. One second I was in the middle of chaos, and the next I felt as though I had been transported completely out of the city. I drove past some beautiful homes which I think may have been long established horse farms. As I followed this surprising connecting road through a quiet neighborhood, I thought, “I needed this.”
I needed a minute to breathe and to bring my stress level back down so I could function to drive the rest of the trip home. I needed a reminder that I need to not be so high strung all the time. I needed to just be.
This past week at work, one of the employees asked me if I always walk so fast. I laughed and shared the fact that my coworkers joked about me wearing roller skates. Maybe moving quickly and being focused is a good thing. But when you reach the point that you can’t stop, it isn’t.
On Friday evening when I got home I started cleaning before I even sat down. It was one of the days I mentally brought patients home that I am concerned about, I knew I would be gone most of the next day (look out Lexington), and the Church potluck would be held at our home on Sunday. I was ready to cry, frantic, and it wasn’t pretty. Bless my poor husband’s heart, he had to see it all.
He offered to cook supper and told me to sit down and relax. I told him I just couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop moving, because if I did something wouldn’t get done. I would forget to do something or there would be dishes in the sink or the tumbleweeds from our four cats would blow across the living room floor while the Church ate spaghetti.
When I admitted I couldn’t stop, it scared me. I gave myself a shake in my mind. This isn’t how life is supposed to be. I do have cleaning to do and a job to take care of. But a car run constantly at top speed won’t hold up well. At least I imagine it wouldn’t. I really know nothing about cars except they need gas to keep up with ridiculous city traffic and every so often you change the oil.
Anyway, we can’t run ourselves full steam ahead all the time. Isn’t that what the Sabbath day was about? Mark 2:27 says, “And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.'” God didn’t decide there would be one day a week the Hebrews were supposed to do no work just so He could make another rule. He wanted them to take care of themselves.
First Timothy 6:17 says, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” If we are running so fast our feet create blurs like cartoon characters, how can we enjoy what God has provided for us? We need to take time to appreciate the people and nature around us.
Even when everything is in chaos around us, we can find quietness inside ourselves through the peace of God. I Peter 3:4 says, “rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” We will all go through turmoil, but we can determine how it affects us. We read in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” No matter what happens, God is still God.
Maybe you, too, have a lot on your mind right now. Maybe your situation isn’t as certain as you would like it to be. Maybe you feel like you are one step from falling right over the edge. I’ve been there. The good news is that we don’t have to stay that way. So while I pray I can find and keep my peace, I’ll be praying for the same for you. Let’s find our quiet places with the Father and hold on with all our might.
May the Lord bless and keep you,