How was your week?
Mine has been …well, busy.
I suspect that, like me, many of you have had a busy week too. But today I find myself asking an important question. What did I actually do? I mean, what did I actually achieve? I cooked and baked and cleaned and washed and hung and folded and shopped and sorted. I counselled and corrected and supervised and scolded. I taught and walked and tidied and swept.
But what did I actually do?
When I look back on the week, what remains of all that I have done? I am not saying that these things are not important and indeed essential, but, in it all, what was my purpose? Another week of my life has gone and I must ask myself: how many meaningful conversations did I have this week? How many times was I really available for my children? How many times was I available to play or to listen or to just enjoy them?(Do I even see how quickly they are growing up?) How much quality time did I have with my husband or with my children? How much of it was just rushing from one end of the day to the other, living the days tired and falling into bed exhausted each evening?
How can I learn to truly live my days instead of rushing through them? Love them instead of just surviving them? How can I learn to appreciate the preciousness of these days so that one day I won’t look back and regret that I missed them in all the busyness?
How can I stop the moments of my days being stolen by the harrier of my soul?
How can I wrestle back my quiet time with God and come back again and again to the place where I begin to understand my true purpose?
Sometimes even my quiet times become a chore to be got through when I lose sight of the quiet place they are meant to be, where everything else comes to rest, when I forget that this set-apart place with God is the oasis of my soul, when I am too busy to hear Christ’s daily invitation “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”, (Matthew 11:28-29) .
I lit a candle this morning just to celebrate these moments, my few moments when it is just me and God and my Bible. In these moments the candle’s slowly flickering flame somehow encourages me and calms me and in some way lets me feel how beautiful this moment with God is and how precious. Somehow something as simple as taking the time to light a candle turns this into a treasured moment. It quietens me long enough to hear God whispering to my heart “it’s going to be okay. Rest.”
I long for rest that will truly refresh me but I won’t find it until I am willing to stop and relinquish my burden to God in that quiet place. Then I will learn to receive rest from Him, in His way and His time. And I will learn to stop hurtling through my days, trying to cram in as much “useful” activity as possible. I will learn to start focusing on the moments, finding Sabbath rest in each one, learning to trace the reflection of my Father’s face in each person I meet.
My prayer for me and for you is that we learn to take time today to rejoice in the life God has given us, to truly en-joy it, that is, to find joy in its moments.Because “this is the day which the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24)