It’s rather like Brexit.
Today was going to be Book Start day, but like March 29th… like April 12th… like June 30th… Oh Mrs May. Or should we call you ‘Mrs May-be not’ now? My own unfulfilled promise dates were April 1st, April 29th and May 1st. I didn’t have to negotiate with anyone to move it… all the way back to May 20th. This week is quite simply a write off and next week we’re away again, so I wasn’t planning to work then anyway.
I woke up this morning knowing I’m not yet 100% well again (wishful thinking and hoping doesn’t make it so!) and it’s simply stupid to add extra stress. Unlike the country, my life isn’t actually a democracy – it’s actually a Theocracy! That whisper in my heart didn’t say ‘get on with it’. He said, REST.
Have you noticed how REST and STRESS are anagrams of each other with added SS? It reminds me of about 15 years ago when I was preaching at a church service in Preston, Lancashire and I used the city’s name as pRESTon. The p was for piano as in music, meaning ‘to be performed softly” and the point is that to press on one must ‘rest on’. Counterintuitive I know, but it’s like the instruction to have a ‘sabbath’ day of rest: it says “I can’t do this in my own strength, I don’t have the power to make anything happen, I’m going to trust and go with God’s way.” That was always the point of God instituting the Sabbath: to make people depend on Him, not ourselves; it said ‘Don’t work today, I will provide’. It was never because God is a mean killjoy, but because He knows we have fragile flesh and physically need a day off! Just as Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” was always the Way. To take it a step further, one of my favourite aphorisms is “I rest, God works. But if I work, God rests” (as in Ishmael being born through Abram and Sarai’s own efforts) I’d rather write a God-inspired book than a flat, repetitive, ineffective, naggy Sally Ann one!
I’ve been learning the way of rest for a few years now. This desire to DO something, produce something, could so easily undermine the place of ease I’ve reached, the living from within and not the demands from outside. I have to listen to the still, small voice or it’s back to the lists and exhaustion! ‘Martha’ must give way to ‘Mary’ – if you are familiar with the Bible story of the sisters. At certain times it’s the other way round, life must be lived and responsibility taken, but I’m developing a better balance, putting right what has been out of kilter for most of my life. It is such a relief to be learning the more spontaneous, plan-changing aspect of the Myers-Briggs Perceivers, letting my Judging impulses relax. The Myers-Briggs types are supposed to level out with age as we develop our weaker side.
I do realise I set myself up, telling everyone this would be happening NOW 🙂 It’s a good way of being accountable and how else does one set a deadline when there is no external pressure? But isn’t it great, I can cross the line and not be dead?! I can get myself off the hook because I’m the one that put myself on it! Glass half-full, I am actually writing, so that’s part of the way there 😉
The timing is everything.