Remember the ex-NASA engineer who devised an exploding glitter package as revenge on thieves who steal packages from front porches? That is my brain exploding with ideas. I try to protect those I care about from the fall out. I had so much to say yesterday that I had to break it up into two…or maybe more parts. I don’t want to overwhelm you with everything in at once.
Last week I focused on staying connected to God and how that guides our life. One of the best visuals I ever heard uses a garden hose as the example. When we are fully connected to God our life operates like a hose with the water flowing freely; however, when we move away from Him, the flow of the water gets pinched off, the trickle is slower and slower until it ultimately stops all together. We literally dry up inside. He hasn’t moved or changed. We have.
Staying connected isn’t a mystical secret. Ask. Listen. Read the Bible. Live expecting Him to meet you where you are. That’s it! Everything else is built upon this foundation. One of the things that helps me is to isolate myself from the world for a few minutes (or longer as needed) everyday for this moment of focused connection. I have unkinked the hose and the water can now flow freely. Who knows what the day will bring?
Isolation is only healthy in small doses and it has a specific purpose.
Today, all we have to do is unfollow someone who doesn’t think like we do to preserve our comfortable little island of solitude. We were put here to do God’s work on earth. We can’t do that from the comfort of our recliners. Believe me, I have tried!
My favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs all came for their album The Sounds of Silence. It was released in 1964…I was eight years old, and have vague recollections of hearing these songs being played on a car radio. It wasn’t until the 1980’s when I was in a difficult life situation that the words of these songs came to life for me. “I Am A Rock” is another song that is painfully honest, but so full of human truth.
These words are as true, if not even more so, today as they were when Paul Simon wrote them. Let them sink in and then look at the world and how we treat each other.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
~Paul Simon, The Sounds Of Silence
Too Much Of Anything Is Bad
Just like too much food makes us fat, excessive isolation leads to an unhealthy mental and emotional state. A regular dose of solitude is an important part of mental, spiritual and emotional health. Some of us need more than others, but we all need it. But, just like Jesus did, we must come out of our solitude and go do what we were put here to do. The what is individual; mine won’t look like yours. If we all live up to our potential, do what we were born to do, leave other people alone to do their work, the world would be a vastly different place. It would be heavenly, or as close as we are going to get on earth.
“But I how do I know what I was put here to do?” you might ask. Oh, have you come to the right place. This is exactly where I get stuck. Ask my friend Drew who has to hear me lament about this on a very regular basis! He always gently guides me back to the truth. And the truth is exactly what I heard from God last week. The what is not as important as the doing. It isn’t some grand cosmic secret that God is waiting for you to figure out. What do you do that fills your heart with joy? For some it will be the thing that earns them their living. For others it will be finding a cause to help with that benefits other people. And still for others, like me, it will be caring for home and family.
I am a nurturer. Nursing, teaching and being available for my family are all manifestations of that part of me. Today, writing is how I manifest my nurturing spirit. I can write just about anything, but what gives me the most joy is writing something that might help someone else. The words I record are the words I would speak to you in person. This is my reason for getting up each and every day. I consider it a high calling and an honor.
My eight year old granddaughter texted me recently. She said her step dad had told her to stop talking and that she could not talk for the rest of her life. She said, “I’m crying.” I know this noisy little child well enough to know that she was likely making a nuisance of herself and the adults needed to finish a task. I told her I was sorry and that maybe she should play in her room quietly for a while and things will be better. The conversation ended with, “Thank you, Mimi. I’ll text you if I need you again.” My heart swelled because I know I am fulfilling a special role in my grandchildren’s life. I am their safe place to fall. God is working through me to teach my grandchildren about love, kindness, respect, and that they are never alone. That is a big part of my high calling.
While we can’t expect perfection here, but what we can do is make our little corner as pretty, kind, and loving as we possibly can. And in the process life will not only be better for everyone, we can all enjoy ourselves along the way!
As always, keep looking up, embrace today and go find some fun!