I don’t do well with messes. If trash gets left in my car or a kid spills on my carpet, I get upset. Probably disproportionately so. Like I said, I DON’T do well with messes. (Unless they’re of my own making, then I make an exception. :P)
A Juggling Feat
But life is messy, as many people have noted, and it’s not usually very easy to clean up. A picture I’ve always loved is the person trying to juggle multiple balls at once, keeping all of them in the air without dropping any. I used to think I was great at this kind of thing: working and being a student and dating someone and maintaining several deep friends and staying in touch with my family. And maybe I was.
But for whatever reason, this has been really difficult lately. It’s getting harder to keep all the balls in the air. Not that I’m about to fail at anything, but my brain is usually running in a million different directions and it’s harder to sit down and FOCUS on one thing. Multitasking seems less fruitful.
Take today for example: even as I’m typing these words, I’m thinking about the Bible study I need to complete for my small group tonight. I’m also wondering what Jared and I are going to have for dinner and when I need to get that started. I got distracted earlier by looking up some products on Amazon, paying a bill for the Dream Center, and texting and emailing some family and friends. I’ve been trying to get this Bible study done for the last three hours, and I only got one page read, and that’s only because I did it while I was going to the bathroom! Phew! Even just writing all that makes me exhausted and anxious!
At times like this, I feel less like the juggler with a few balls in the air, and more like the clown above: I’m also trying to balance on something else… and I probably also have another ball on my nose and a fly constantly buzzing by my left ear which I’m trying to swat away.
Simply put, I’m trying to do too much at once.
A Needed Rest
I think what I’m realizing through all this is that it is possible for your brain to go too many directions at once. Recent research has shown multitasking not to be as productive as most of us would like to think it is. I felt bummed about this, until I realized how much stress I was feeling simply by trying to get 20 things done simultaneously.
Sure, peace is something God-given, but aren’t there things we can do to allow room for this in our lives? And things that could prevent it as well?
With this in mind, I took a break in the middle of writing this blog, got away from my computer and my phone, and just sat down and did my Bible study. What a refreshing experience to only have one thing on my mind!
A Call to Peace
Too often we lead frantic, frazzled lives. We so want to feel accomplished that we forget about feeling peaceful in the midst of all we’re doing.
I love crossing things off my to-do list as much as the next person (and probably more than some!), but I don’t want that to be where my peace derives from. I have peace first and foremost because I am a precious child of God. A daughter he loves so much that he can’t take his eyes off me. Only out of that space can I then begin to get things done. But not because my identity is somehow based on how much I do.
Let’s sit together and find our peace and rest in Christ. My mornings usually feel rushed, but I want to start taking a few minutes (even if that’s all I have!) to meditate and focus on God’s great love for me. Because “in this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
We can go through 5 to-do lists a day and accomplish so many great things–even great things for God!–but these will not result in HIS loving us more. So let’s rest together. We are loved right where we are… even if the balls fall scattered all over the floor.