I have no business writing a blog. I spend my day in insurance speak, surgical procedure codes, diagnosis codes, denial codes, dollars and cents. Not exactly inspiring stuff. Heap on the fact that I turned 40 and lost the ability to verbally communicate. I’ll be talking to you and loose words mid sentence. Gone, poof! Left to stutter or trail off, leaving confusion in my wake. One evening, I actually spent 10 minutes trying to think of the word “transform” with only an image of a butterfly and the letter “t” to jog my memory. Ridiculous. Is this some type of stroke?
It is because of this that I have had a growing desire to reconnect with words. I long to read more than 140 characters, or speed read the headlines in my facebook feed. Challenging myself to purposefully connect with something more than entertainment. Add to that, most days fly by and I didn’t connect with one meaningful thought or one person in a meaningful way. It was a few months ago a little lesson was “driven” home to me.
Mind you, I have teenagers and gone are the days of car seats. Most days, I’m overrun with backpacks, 4-5 instruments and frankly I needed a place for my purse. When your purse calls shotgun-the kids are not happy. So it was this dire need for moving real estate that fired us up to purchase a van again.
We had the van for a few days and I was basking in the extra cubic feet. I pulled into the parking lot where my husband worked and turned the car off. Distracted by a text, I began to look at facebook, perused the to do list for a quick update, sipped my coffee. Absentmindedly, I opened the door and reached for the keys and pulled. The keys would not budge. I pulled harder, because that is always the answer. I pushed the brake,then I pushed harder. See a pattern here? I turned the steering wheel and pulled at the key again-nothing happened. “What is going on?” The key would half turn, so I tried to start it but it only produced a battery light. I was stuck!
In zero to ten seconds, I went into p a n i c mode. Assuming the worst, I resigned my van as forever dead only to be resurrected by some crazy amount of money. We had a lemon and some man, somewhere was laughing at my misfortune.
It was time for plan B, Frantically, I texted my husband. “The van is dead, I can’t start it or get the key out, I’m in the parking lot. HELP.”
Distressed, I leaned back waiting for my SOS to spur my husband to action and to my rescue. It was then, thirty extremely sad seconds later, I realized I was truly abandoned and on my own. Because, my dear sweet husband, if it’s under a minute-you have failed me. I had no ideas left.
It was then that I stilled my heart and prayed, asking God to send my husband to rescue me. Fixated on the only solution-the hubby. In the quiet, a small voice said to me, “are you in gear?”
“Well of course not.” I balked as I promptly grabbed the gear shift and yanked down- promptly slipping the van from drive into park. Gasp! I wasn’t even in park?? I had been stuck in drive! Shifting into park, my key slipped out and I was free to leave my van. Embarrassed, I quickly texted my husband a meek “never mind.”
It’s common sense to many of us that driving has a certain rhythm and order. I’m sure none of you have been held captive in your vehicle because you couldn’t take the key out. It is halfbaked to divert from the order of gears or parking 101.
However, I believe many of us are stuck in drive. So busy and distracted we fail to follow the order of life that makes things work. We too are failing to connect. In our hurried drive mode, we neglect the necessity of slipping out of gear into park. Stuck in drive, we become isolated and removed from any real power to move us.
Because it is when we stop, park and disengage- we than can engage with those around us. We then can connect with our God. It isn’t any wonder why scripture reminds us to be still. Our propensity to be busy began way before the invention of smart phones. We love to blame technology, but it’s the human heart that wanders. It this condition that keeps us from naturally connecting with those around us and our God. This same heart seeks to fill our moments with things that have no eternal value.
As another Christmas season blows in, we power through the many extra details that make this month memorable. Often missing out on those special moments that present themselves because we are too busy to stop. Last night while decorating the house for Christmas, my husband instructed all of us to put our shoes on and meet him outside. I begrudgingly marched outside to be greeted by the most beautiful rare moment. The calm clear night sky was filled with glittering snow, that fell so perfectly due to lack of wind, that it tickled our faces. I had almost missed this magical moment because I had stuff to do!
It is my hope for you and me that we could experience those special moments only found by stopping and looking up.
“In the rush and noise of life, as you have intervals, step home within yourselves and be still. Wait upon God, and feel His good presence; this will carry you evenly through your day’s business.”
Jesus’s friends Mary and Martha are great examples of the choice we have. Martha had stuff to do, but Mary chose the one thing that was needed, and that would never be taken from her. Luke 10:42
Martha drove everybody crazy and Mary parked it right at Jesus’ feet.
To be still and choose some down time with Jesus, we move beyond reacting to our circumstances to choosing how we will live. With Christ, our existence becomes more than a dry outline of bullet points found in a resume that boasts what we accomplished. Our life becomes a novel with characters, filled with rich conversation and insights- a treasured story we can share. The delicate rhythm of life is no longer drowned out by the rapid tempo so many of us march too.
So as I journey to be still and reconnect with people and coherent speech, I first choose Jesus. He inspires me to write. I will open my bible to see what treasures lay there. Facebook and other distractions can wait. I will come to a full stop and shift into park, right at the feet of Jesus. Any other way is halfbaked!
I’d love to read how your special time with Christ inspires you, what is God doing in your heart?