Some days life seems a little too heavy.
There are overflowing trash cans and dirty dishes in the sink, scheduling decisions to be made and lesson plans to be made, not enough time seems like its become our motto, and the rush to get out the door and on to our next things feels much too normal. Mistakes, upsets, accidents – all before the eight a.m.
Hustle, hurry, busyness – they seem to be the air that we try to breathe, even as we can feel it suffocating our very souls.
Slow down, say no, sleep more hours, these canned answers all seem like great ways to find some peace among the chaos. But what if all the things you’re doing are good and necessary, and there’s not really a way to do less – at least not now? Because we’re not just going to let the trash rot underneath our sink or sleep through our responsibilities or forgo the meaningful work we agreed to do.
I often wonder if the feeling of frenzy and not enough isn’t coming from the fullness of our schedules but rather from the emptiness of our hearts.
Because when we inhale hustle and hurry we exhale stress and anxiety. With every gasp for productivity, perfection, and profit we whither. Our breath will remain shallow, the life will never reach our lungs, so long as we are making achievement and to-do check marks our oxygen.
They were right when they said haste makes waste. Because haste stems from the fear that what we are doing is not enough. And a life lived in fear is a wasted life.
Maybe the answer isn’t what all the experts say. Maybe it isn’t about cutting down on commitments or going to bed earlier or taking more personal days. Because even if we pare our work down to the minimum there will never cease to be responsibilities, unexpected setbacks, and days when the hours seem too short. We are adults after all. And more than adults, we are Kingdom workers. There are things to be done.
So if we still have to wake up every morning, if staying under the blankets and eating poptarts until the hard day passes, if we are still held responsible to go into the fields and work – then how do we keep from flailing in the seas of stress and worry?
Perhaps the answer is found less in what fills our hours and more in what fills our lungs.
As long as we are sucking in the poisonous lies that we have to be perfect, we have to achieve, we have to do more we will continue to live our days in fear. And our fear will trap us. We will live pinned by the reality that we aren’t perfect, our acheivements aren’t worthy, we haven’t done enough.
Enter into the equation grace.
Grace comes to us, just as we are – messy and so imperfect, and it offers a breath of fresh air. No longer do we have to do everything right, no longer do our failures tie us down, no longer do we need to live in fear of not being enough. We will make mistakes, we will stumble and fall, we won’t get everything done, we will have accidents, we will sin atrociously. Grace says we can live anyway.
I gulp down the grace. It fills my lungs and it reaches to the depths of my belly. I feel its life coursing through my body. I am alive because of grace.
We will wake up again tomorrow to the long lists and dirty dishes and tasks that feel too daunting. Our to-do lists won’t disappear, the interruptions and set backs and disrupted plans will still be there.
But we will breathe in grace and grace will guide us through our day.