Friday, March 8, 2013

A Working Mom Grasps To Define "Rest" (A Throwback to 2010)

I scrawled this out in half-sentence intervals back in the days of being all things to all people, working outside the home full-time, pumping breastmilk in a tech room closet on my lunch breaks, and generally deteriorating into a striving puddle of hot mess while possibly fooling no one that I wasn't all that pulled together. I still feel the subtext soaking through as I re-read it, and the irony's not lost on me:
 
I am a master multi-tasker. My to-do list has to-do lists. I go insane, constantly recalculating the priority level of everything on the list, shifting items up and down to fill any unexpected 30-second gap that somehow slips into my day.
 
I don’t need coffee to shift into ADHD overdrive. But I drink it anyway.
 
Then I become a task-oriented superhero of completion. And it's usually at this point that I slam my shin into the open door of a half-unloaded dishwasher, on my way to add one more onesie to the last seconds before rinse cycle, while the Hamburger Helper begins splattering across the stove, and the microwave beeps at one-minute intervals to remove the sterilized bottles.
 
My world's become a machine of daily routine, and I leave waves of confused order in my wake, ending each day in exhaustion and wondering if this is really the life God has for me.
 
St Augustine wrote about finding rest, after pursuing it unsuccessfully for several decades of his life.
 
“You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
 
There is a rest that comes in the midst of us, just as Christ Himself came among us, not to clear sinners from the face of the earth, but to show us the way of salvation through it all, a way remarkably marked, by rest.
 
"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
 
Rest doesn't obliterate busy days or guarantee full nights of uninterrupted sleep.
 
(I can only look upon our baby son with gratitude, that God could have the audacity to surprise our striving lives with a living, breathing call to rest. For once, there is a cry important enough to put down a half-washed dish or let pasta boil past al dente.)
 
The kind of rest that's available is the peace of knowing that in any given moment I am doing exactly as God would have me to do, which incidentally, rarely lines up with my list of planned accomplishments for a day.
 
I have this vision of arriving before our God in heaven, with my checked-off to-do list trailing like a train of toilet paper from my shoe. And God saying to me, as He said to Martha, as He's said to every generation between us: "You have worried and been distracted by many things. There is need of only one thing."

'Martha and Mary' by Nathan Greene

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