I am sitting in my favorite spot on the porch this afternoon. It is a simple chair at an old farm table with a view of the budding spring outside the windows. In this place, I listen to the birds calling and the wind blowing. This is a spot where writing happens, where prayers are said, and thoughts can swirl around freely in the breeze that passes through the windows. In this place, little feet will soon pass through, running on their way to the yard to play as as the school day winds down and I will relish every sound of it.
We have lived in this house for just over 5 years and in every season of this home, I have searched for a place of solitude. I have set up an in home office in a quiet corner of the house. I have refinished the perfect little antique desk. I have collected lovely decorations. I have brought in color and patterns that made it feel more alive. When the indoor additions failed, I moved my quest outside, to setting up a garden, finding the perfect plants for new flower beds and sowing more seeds than my busy life could attend to, only to see them become overcome by weeds in my absence.
Each attempt has carried its own valiant effort in the search for a quiet place of rest and respite. And in each space, I have found more work than rest. I have found myself completely incapable of the ability to sit and enjoy but constantly pushing to find a better spot, one that feels more complete, one that brings more beauty.
Today, however is different. This sweet space I have found, travels with me. It was sought out and fought for, tucked inside an inmost corner of my heart, deep within the longing of a slower, more meaningful life. While I appreciate the beauty of this favorite place on the porch, I also find it in the quiet moments in my car, when the windows are down and the engine is at rest, when my engine is at rest.
I believe there is a day for each of us when the inability to rest and the pain of our overwhelming disconnectedness come to a screeching halt. Gears wear and grind until they can turn no more. We do this either because we see the danger and slow the machine or because life beyond our control has decided to do it without our consent.
There is a story about a man who was given three stones to carry in a wagon to the top of a mountain. (Having a Mary Heart In A Martha World, by Joanna Weaver) God had given him specific instructions and a map of which to follow on his trail. The man set out joyfully on his journey and as he was passing a nearby village, someone stopped and asked him where he was going. When he told him, the passerby was overjoyed as he had been worrying how he could get his own rock to the top of the mountain. Surely the kind man could pull it along with him.The man loaded the rock and continued on his path. Along the way, many people saw his load and asked if he could carry theirs also. The wagon soon filled and as he climbed, the wheels bent and the load swayed. The load was heavy and the man wondered if he would ever make it to the top. The joy the man once felt for God’s plan was replaced with resentment and he often thought of letting go of the entire thing.
At that time, God came to his wagon and asked the man what he was doing. One by one, God began to unload rocks of various sizes and toss them aside until he came to the three rocks He had given the man. The man, exasperated, explained to God that he was simply carrying the load to the top and had helped all of His people along the way as they presented their needs. God spoke gently to the man and reminded him that His only request was that he carry the three. The extra stones were not meant for him to carry, they were meant for others!
When we are so weighted down by our own willingness to to add to our wagons, we cannot do what He has sent us out to accomplish!
So what about you today my friend? Can you peek into your wagon and let God show you the only stones He gave? Trust Him with the sorting and leave the unloading to Him. All He asks is that you stop the wagon and be honest about all the heaviness. He has not made you to carry that load. He has sent someone after your cart to walk behind you and guard you from setting it all loose down that hill. That person is Jesus and he offers us His yoke, His strength, and his smoother path.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Present Over Perfect with April begins May 18th. This class focuses leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection. Need to read Chapter 1 before class start.
Start Date: May 18th
Time: 6-7:30 PM; 5 week class. DVD and discussion.
Facilitator: April Cowdin