What I’m about to tell you next could shock you. Good, now that you’ve been warned I’ll continue. You know what I’m about here. Growth, improving, movement of all kinds.
I was watching a Lowe’s commercial the other day (one of my daughter’s favorites) and I got to thinking (yikes, there I go again) what if there are times in life when we are to still, to allow work to be done quietly inside us rather than rush around accomplishing, improving, bettering?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge advocate of growth. I love how the Lowe’s commercial shows neighbors inspired by one another. Love that. But here’s something I’m also gleaning lately.
We can only control so much. We can work until the cows come home, pigs fly, and Chicken Little hollers the sky is falling but at some point we’re wise to lean in to the art of contentment.
Not a give up, sit here and do nothing idea of contentment. But a state of being where we find peace in the now. In the messy. In the not there yet. Peace amidst the chaos.
Three of the best methods I’ve found to help get me to this place of peace…
When I’m running on all cylinders it communicates more to me about my state of mind than my state of being. It’s as though my actions are screaming at me I’m overdue for a long sit down.
Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself when I’m not working—when I’m not in constant motion. And that kind of freaks me out.
When we rest we grant ourselves valuable time to let our bodies replenish and our minds to refresh. My perspective has a tendency to get all out of whack when I rob myself of rest time.
I’m not referring to long looks back, the stuff that zapped Lot’s wife into salt here folks. Instead, I’m referring to a good hike. Moments spent in nature or near a graveyard where we’re able to get a solid refresher of just how fragile this life is—how temporal. Time to remember what’s important to us. When we carve out time for reflection we honor life.
This is the most influential R for me. Our natural tendency is to steer off course. You know this. I’m not telling you anything new. No matter how long we’ve poured into faith we’re still bound to gravitate toward our own will. Our way. When I’m flooded with projects, insistent on completing one more thing, and crowding my calendar so it’s difficult to find time to breathe, I’m missing opportunities to realign. To remember why I’m here and that I can write another novel, plant another flower bed, or spring clean my heart out and I’ll still be loved the same as when I didn’t carve out time to write novels, had a black Grim Reaper thumb, and my house was in shambles.
I can’t earn more love by speeding up. I can’t make it so I’m loved more.
For my God I’m enough.
Want to know the crazy part as I deconstruct this thought?
As soon as I’m able to rest in the realignment of where I stand with God, I find myself craving to work hard for him. To become more forgiving, less bitter, more patient…
And so inject myself in the cycle of Rs again so I’m not fooled into thinking I’m earning his love, his acceptance, or his approval by my actions.
I never want to stop improving. But I always don’t ever want to forget that I’m not loved for what I do but for who I am.
Do you ever have to discipline yourself to slow down? Are there times you fight your restless nature (like I do) and buy into the thinking that if you do more, accomplish more you are becoming…more? What helps remind you that you are enough?
My beautiful friend Michelle DeRusha pointed me in the direction of this relevant quote recently:
"We live under the illusion that if we can acquire complete control, we can understand God. Or we can write the great American novel. But the only way we can brush against the hem of the Lord, or hope to be part of the creative process, is to have the courage, the faith, to abandon control." Madeleine L’Engle
*I’ve loved celebrating recently released books written by my rockin’ friends. This week I urge you to check out sweet supporter and friend, Susan J. Reinhardt’s, The Moses Conspiracy!