I’ve been reflecting lately on the spiritual power of “doing nothing.” The importance of moments of quiet reflection — even those that don’t seem overtly spiritual at all. For example, this morning I had an unexpected moment of time alone…my kids miraculously “slept in” and I was sitting with a mug of hot tea at the kitchen table at 7 AM, stunned that I hadn’t been put to work yet with breakfast, etc. I had gotten up early to work (I usually write and edit from 5 to 7 b/c I’m a morning person), but my computer wasn’t working right and I also didn’t feel like working any more. So I just sat there with my tea and started to reflect on how tired and worn out I’ve let myself become over the past few weeks.
I’ve got a repetitive problem with over-committing myself. For me it’s work commitments. For other moms I know, it’s too many volunteer or ministry commitments. Whatever it is, it seems that despite my love for all-things-Richard-Foster/contemplative spiritually stuff, I still get myself crammed into a pattern of living without any margin. There’s no wiggle room. And there’s definitely not time to just “be.”
And I feel like it’s a sin. Not in the work-myself-up-until-I-feel-guilty sense — but more that I’ve realized this is something I’ve done repeatedly. It’s something God has spoken to me about before, many times, but yet I keep getting myself into these situations without taking responsibility for my part in choosing to live this way. I’ve bought into our hidden cultural mantras about busyness making us feel important and have let my life get way too overcrowded.
Part of this is the reality of life as a mom. Whether you work outside the home, work from home, or your work is caring for your family/home, you know how it can be — a day can easily become filled with chaos before you’ve even eaten breakfast.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the choices we make that contribute to this. The choice to say “yes” to something when we should say NO. Ultimately, the choice to put “doing” ahead of “being.”
Let me rewrite a famous prayer. God grant me some serenity — any serenity — even if its just a pinch! And while you do that, I won’t just wait for a miracle. I recognize that I need to do my part too. I’ll pare away some of the needless layers that are suffocating the many opportunities for serenity that you provide. Amen and amen.