I saw God at work all the time - in the thoughtfully planned dinners and the changing of a flat tire. I saw it when my grandparents read their Bibles together at breakfast, alternating sips of coffee with one flip of a delicate page at time. I saw Him in every bruised and bandaged knee. Every broken heart. In every t-shirt and bed sheet swaying in the breeze to dry. I saw His grace in peoples' resolve to provide, even when there wasn't understanding or the words to communicate it.
I look at how different my adult life is now and sense that, although my own parents and their friends were busy back then, the "hustle" wasn't quite the same. The expectations weren't quite as fierce. Our elders understood something that we've lost in the constant motion of today's world and it was this:
I both love our new opportunities to voice God-encouragement all over the world, and lament the machine it becomes if we're not careful, because:
Our faith, our very assurance about things unseen, has become something measurable - decisions weighed by numbers and success determined by statistics.
It certainly isn't just a church issue, more likely, the culture invaded the body without our notice. The go, go, go mentality pervades all facets of our lives. Moms are pressured to go back to work as soon as possible after giving birth for fear of losing their position or influence in the workplace. Employees everywhere are expected to produce more with less money. We work sick, function despite our exhaustion, and think that a brief vacation is going to cure years of over-production.
More specifically, although only 5% of women selected church or religious activities as their top time commitment, this is the area of life that most women want to improve in (22%), indicating that many women find their desires for church or religious engagement to be at odds with the constraints of their everyday realities.*
If you want to stop, it's OK. I do too.
It's OK to stop worrying about what everybody thinks, to rock your new baby and leave a couple of dishes in the sink.
It's OK if you bypass the promotion so that you can make it to your kids' soccer games.
It's OK if your main goal for the day is to sit with the woman across the street who just lost her husband.
It's OK to admit that you want to downsize or declutter responsibilities.
It's OK to steal away with your husband and ask for help with the kids.
Float. Sing. Bask in the warm sunlight, if only for a little while. Return to the rhythms of life that are in tune with God and His plans for your time. The years won't wait for us remember the things that are most important. The time is now.
With you and for you,