Wednesdays are hard days, aren’t they? It’s the middle of the week. Stuck dead in between the fresh beginning and the celebratory ending. And sometimes it feels a little dead. Tasks seem like nothing more than tasks. And I feel a little dead. Lifeless as I shuffle through each part of the day, going from one thing to another, to another. It’s not hard work, but tasks – when seen only as tasks – stacked on top of each other. It really has nothing to do with the task itself as the same exact collection of tasks ends up being life giving on other days. Something is missing on this Wednesday.
Space is what is missing. Space in the middle of the tasks seems to be imperative. Space and time to pause and be. Why is this so hard to come by, even by a woman working less than part time with no kids and few responsibilities? I look over at the young mom with a pigtailed toddler and a crying infant. Trying to find space and time to pause and be in the corner of a coffee shop, in spite of the two little lives she’s responsible for. How much harder to be her and hope for some respite in the middle of the day in the middle of the week.
We experimented with a special Friday afternoon break from the routine with the little ones I care for last week. No quiet time, no naps. Play and have fun. There were more meltdowns, internally and externally, that day than ever before and they weren’t only felt by the littles. We all needed that time of retreat, even if its a retreat from playing and having fun. It is in those minutes that we can be reunited with a craved for stillness and in that stillness recognize once more that God is God. Because we forget that a lot.
We get so consumed with the tasks, coming one after another, we live so fully in them, we invest everything we have. And even in well-intentioned efforts we are drawn out of the Kingdom reality and into the me reality. Or the you-reality. What I need, what I want, what I have to do. My successes, my failures, my emotions, my desires, my work, my tasks. Good things they all are, or at least can be. Using our abilities and time well, taking on responsibilities and carrying through with them. Finding means to meet the end that we we are set on accomplishing. But in this kingdom we forget there is a bigger reality outside of our realm.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. -Psalm 46:10
If I don’t make time to be sill I am agitated. Frustrated. Driven. Narrow-visioned. I forget why I am doing my tasks. They lose kingdom significance and become only things to be accomplished. Tasks only. Never anything more.
When I only do what I do because they are on the to do list it is small wonder I am filled with frustration when they don’t work out as well as hoped. When there are missed beats in the measures I’m trying to play for choir, or fussing children unhappy with my ideas for the day, or a lack of flavor in the soups I attempt to make for dinner, or messy rooms in the house I try to maintain. When I am working only for the accomplishment of the check off my task list I am bound for disappointing days that are filled with frustration and unfulfillment.
I know all this. I know that each of my appointed tasks for the day are invitations in which God is beckoning me into a work greater than my own. I know that each aspect of my life is an aspect of the Kingdom furtherment. But I forget so quickly. Taking time to be still helps me remember. Especially in the middle of the days in the middle of the week.
When is your 5 minutes stillness appointment everyday? Write that midday time in stone. No cancellations allowed. For 5 minutes midday, be still and cease striving. Know He is God and the day looks very different. –Ann Voskamp
Maybe you could use a midweek midday getaway? Some time stop at noon on Wednesday to heat up your leftover coffee, take a seat and just be still for five minutes? I want to provide that for you. Join me here Wednesdays at noon, sit with me as we take a moment to be still and remember that God is God. See you next week.