I listen to a lot of podcasts and radio programs. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard the voiceover of the next ad start with the words, “Now that you have free time on your hands, learn a new language … try some new recipes … do a puzzle a week … read a book a day,” and so on.
No one I know, including myself, has “free time” on their hands. We’re hustling right now. Hustling to find a job as an essential worker, hustling to stay on top of the daily onslaught of homeschooling assignments, hustling to find and keep increasingly unaffordable food on the table for the many people who are now at home ALL THE TIME, and washing three times as many loads of laundry a day. Not to mention the increase in dust on the furniture and dust bunnies on the floor, and worst of all, pounds on the scale. And apparently the pounds have conspired to gather around my middle.
I’m now on a diet.
All of this happened overnight, throwing my orderly ways into chaos.
But I win.
About ten days ago, I realized that life was morphing into a series of ground hog days. And if this really is the end of the world, I don’t want the substance of my last days to fade into a monotonous mind-numbing routine. It’s not good. And it’s unnecessary.
Nine days ago, I woke up to a different day. As painful as it was to set aside my hard-wired and proven response to meeting the demands of the day, I knew I needed to take the plastic covers off the furniture and mix in a little reckless dancing atop the white couch. Because if I did, I would remember it. This little break with standard furniture protocols would stand out from an increasingly monotonous and fading routine. And this act of wild self-expression, even with my slippers still on, risking telltale signs for some future guest to discover and then secretly judge me by, might tickle something within me. Something like a personality; a personality that has been forced into a silent acquiescence to my zealous and self-absorbed penchant for productivity.
I think this breach of furniture protocol, particular of the white couch category, is commonly referred to as having fun; experiencing a few moments of joy that then linger the rest of the day.
A different day, Day 1.
Every different day since the first nine days ago has been just that: different. Each has begun with an increasingly shorter disagreement with my critical taskmaster who still lives inside my head despite my waning regard for her authority. She doesn’t know how to take a hint.
About six days ago, I paused during prayers and lingered on one of the phrases I had written a short while ago in my prayer journal. I do that a lot. I usually don’t comprehend the implications of the phrase at the moment of jotting, but I figure it can’t hurt, right? You never know if God is trying to tell you something, and with time and meditation, you might have one of those cool epiphanies.
I’m guessing you want to know what that phrase is, right? All right.
Trust knows no power struggles.
Let that marinate a bit.
Confession: I am very prideful, especially for a woman. Many would say that I’m arrogant. They’re right. I am. One of the words recently jotted in my prayer journal is Humility.
Here’s how it all ties together.
Since I’m arrogant, I think I know best. And since I know best, then I assume I know how to best use the day to get things done. And God help the unfortunate husband or child who dares to interrupt me as I execute my perfect plan. They’re getting in my way and keeping me from proving my value as a person. And that cannot stand. Like right now … my youngest daughter just pulled the blanket out from behind me and laid it across the top of my laptop, removing essential access to my keyboard.
This is how I learn things – via object lessons. You see, my daughter is adorable. She’s a special needs teenager, born missing most of the left hemisphere of her brain as a result of physical violence against her pregnant birthmother.
My daughter is the most intuitive and loving person I know. Bonus: she loves me the most.
Normally, I’d be in my office with the door closed being productive. And I would have missed this moment. God had this moment all planned out as part of His diabolical scheme to leave me grateful, humbled, and a tiny bit changed.
Trust knows no power struggles.
Wake up tomorrow and give up the routine of your day for something better. It’ll be good … I’ve heard you have a lot of free time.