Today [November 18] I listened to another perfectly-timed radio broadcast on Midday Connection [Moody Radio]. The guest speaker was Mindy Caliguire, an author and speaker from Chicago who was discussing soul care & simplicity.
This got my attention. As a rule, nothing in life–or in my life, at least–seems very simple. Our calendar is packed. Our three children are involved in activities. The stress and responsibilities related to my husband’s job are many. School, church, sports, music lessons, volunteering/mentoring…oh yeah–am I supposed to do laundry and clean the house, too?!
While at face value these things seem generally manageable, there are moments of chaos that make me consider fleeing to some mountain in Montana with a tent and a can of Coke. I feel out of control. I feel exhausted. I feel like I’m living in our car, hurrying from one place to another. Yet, if I were asked to drop a few of the balls we’re juggling, which ones would go?
Mindy urged us to evaluate all the things are we using to fill our time. How many of these things seem necessary but might actually be low priority time-wasters that we choose to indulge in rather than enjoying a moment of solitude? Are we packing our lives to overflowing but feeling completely empty?
One of my good friends has been assessing her own life and has been sharing some of her thoughts with me in the process. She is looking at the hours in each day with a new lens and asking some difficult questions. I can resonate with her and have started asking these questions of myself:
When our children were infants and I yearned for time alone, did I ever picture myself spending X number of hours on the computer? Shopping/blogging/Facebooking/ emailing, etc…?
Am I reading the books I want to read?
How often do I authentically connect with God?
Do I spend time thinking about the path of my life and what my goals are for the future?
Can I calm my mind down enough to enjoy a quiet room alone?
How much TV am I really watching?
Mindy reminded us that we need to take care of ourselves and our souls to be able to live a vibrant, fruitful life rather than trudge through our days with a list of obligations. After all, if we do wish to authentically connect with God, how can we possibly do it amidst so much mental and physical clutter?
I Corinthians 14:33 says: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”
Do I live in a life filled with peace? Order? Shalom? Or is my head spinning in hundreds of directions at the same time? [YES!] Can I actually finish a prayer without stopping somewhere in the middle to compose a grocery list?
Mindy left us with this verse that was so convicting for me:
“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,…
but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15 [emphasis mine.]
Tonight I’m trying to live in that space where God would have me: Peace. Rest. Quietness. Trust.
And I hope, especially going into the holiday season, that you choose to pursue some measure of these, as well.