Friday, February 20, 2015

The Crazy Train

The doctor stood at the podium as she shared about one evening standing at her kitchen sink looking out her window.  Her daughter sat at the table coloring as she looked out the window.  The neighbors were whizzing by on their way to this and that.  As she watched them going here and there, she wandered if they had made the right decision to scale back in an effort to be home more.

She called it getting off the crazy train.

"That is how everyone I know is living-in utter, busy chaos!"
excerpt from Own Your Life, Sally Clarkson

Several years ago, Shane and I got away to Amelia Island.  Looking at the pictures from the outside, it looks like the most dreamy scenario you could imagine.  Thick cut bacon, French toast, Eggs Benedict, coffee, and juice, all enjoyed while sitting in rocking chairs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

It was a restful, beautiful time away.  Everything about the Island brings us joy.  It is quiet and when we are there we sleep, read, walk around the charming downtown area, and eat the best foods this world has to offer.  We watch the sun rise and the sun set on water.

But there is something that you can't see from these pictures.  You can't see the turmoil that was going on inside of me during this trip.  It was probably the hardest time I've ever walked through.  It was a dark time.  It was the first time I understood what it felt like to feel anxiety on the inside.
We had stretched ourselves too thin and it was all coming undone around the edges.  Life had come crashing down and we found ourselves trying to dig out from a heap of rubble.  Having a life that was at peace felt like a million impossible miles away.

One look at our calendars told the story.  Every space was claimed for something or someone.  We were tired and worn down.  He was busy working for a growing church.  I was running a growing business while trying to homeschool our children and run the house.  We had no margin in our lives and we were so tired.

Little did we know that God was at work.  As I stared at plates of the finest delicacies, I could not even eat.  Something had to give.  The idea of letting something go put fear inside of me.  You know what though?  He was whispering the new thoughts.  I just kept shrugging them off because the new meant change and my earthly eyes couldn't map out exactly where the road might end up.

We sat still, read our Bibles, prayed and prayed some more.  Seeing the new plan unfold took longer than we wanted.  A good two to three years of seeking, praying and waiting.  In the end, He called us to get off the crazy train of too much.  The crazy train of too busy.

His mercies are new every morning.  The sun goes down and the sun rises and He is always there on His throne.  He's got plans for you and me.  In the years since this trip, the landscape of our life has changed drastically.  We are at peace.  We were asked to give up some very, very difficult things.  It was hard.  It was unsure.  We were scared.  And just like always, He has been here on the other side of the threshold of obedience.  And just like always, His hand of blessing and provision has been abundant.
When we are in the center of all He has asked of us, to the outside world it may seem like a lot-people may wonder how you do it-but He gives the grace, strength and energy to accomplish the tasks He has asked of us.  If you are crumbling under the weight of life today, it might be time to ask if perhaps He has something different in mind for the hours of your days.