There is a laundry pile in my bedroom requiring a harness and ropes to scale. Scattered Legos lay like landmines across the living room floor and graham cracker crumbs wind a trail through the kitchen like Hansel and Gretel's roadmap. Little C munches on licorice sticks while last night's spaghetti pot still soaks in suds and dishwater. Girl Child's hair is tangled but her fingernails gleam with freshly painted purple sparkles.
This is what we've chosen, today.
Don't worry. The mess will be tidied, the dishes and laundry and landmines will be cleared… but not today.
The lot of us is up to here with busyness and interruptions – dental appointments and conjunctivitis, volunteer commitments, adoption paperwork, book reports, ear infections, dirty floors, church functions, birthday party plans and work to be done.
When I visited my mom yesterday, fiddling with email on my phone while we chatted, she joked, "It's okay to rest, you know." I flinched. "You don't have to be busying yourself every second."
I chuckled and she did too – knowing me and my penchant for distraction, constant motion, attention deficit disorder. Juggling with both hands and both feet and burning the candle that I hold between my teeth. It's just the way it is. And while I wish I didn't have to be deliberate about rest, I realize that even Jesus was, and how wise He was to be. In a world where otherwise normal people spend hours with thumbs jumping across the screen of their cell phones, electronically hurdling animated birds at neon pigs as if we needed one more pointless thing to occupy us, it's hard to remember that it's okay (it's necessary) to sometimes... just. be.
I scan the landscape before me, three prone bodies draped listless over couches, feet in the air, carefree giggles like soft music. The shades are open and the air is still, soft gray, not cloudy and not bright, as though the sun and rain and wind are resting too. All is quiet and calm and comfortably still, until C pops up from the couch in a concentrated tuck-and-roll, hopping across the carpet, exploding in imaginative play. A tickle war ensues, we catapult toys across couch-pillow barriers, and rescue make-believe princesses from make-believe dragons. We blow bubbles and eat marshmallows and talk about Jesus and hide-and-seek like we were born for only this. It's serious business, this rest stuff.
It amounts to refocusing, honing our eyes and ears to the vitally important. Filling our insides with laughter and love and peace -- fuel for the journey ahead. Tomorrow we'll be back to school, back to work, back to learning cursive and washing dishes, feeding the hungry and encouraging downcast friends. Tomorrow I'll gear up and scale the laundry mountain and these moments… these bottled giggles and captured yawns will course through me, strength for the road.
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