Is Your Soul Being Held Hostage by Hustle?
"… Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10a (NIV)
That Tuesday morning I had grand plans to catch up on a mountain of work. I grabbed my laptop and headed to the nearest coffee shop. While standing in line, I overheard someone mention the Wi-Fi connection wasn’t working.
I needed Wi-Fi for the work I had to finish so I gathered my things, went back to my car, and drove to the second nearest coffee shop. I checked the Internet connection before I ordered my coffee and finally sat down to be productive.
But when I opened my computer, all I saw was a blank screen. I held down the power button to restart it when a horrific sound blared through my speakers.
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
I cannot describe to you how loud this beep was. The screen was still blank, and the series of three beeps cut through all the coffee shop chatter, marching on like stubborn beeping soldiers.
After an inappropriate amount of button pushing and armpit fanning, I finally gave up and shut my computer, only to have the beeping continue even though the laptop was closed. Panic rose in my chest as I watched my productive morning slowly melt away.
Leaving the coffee shop, I drove directly to the computer store where I waited one full hour for an appointment, at which time they informed me that my computer was dying and would cost $500 to fix. Thankfully it was still under warranty but by this time, my soul was so frantic I had trouble letting that good news sink in.
A broken computer in need of repair meant I would have to be without it for several days, dashing any hopes of productivity. Driving home I felt out of control, overwhelmed and frustrated with myself that something as small as a broken computer got me this jumbled up. Shouldn’t I be this concerned about hunger and world peace?!
Here’s why I think talking about this fiasco and others like it is important: because most of life happens not in brightness or in darkness, but in the medium light of a regular day.
Until we are honest about how these small inconveniences and frustrations are forming us, we won’t know how to move into the brokenness of the world, simply because we haven’t let Christ move into the brokenness of our own souls.
Later that evening, when I finally became still, I remembered a phrase a trusted friend and mentor said to me at a particularly overwhelming time in my life: "Celebrate your smallness."
I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the midst of feeling overwhelmed, the last thing I want to do is celebrate. Still, my mentor’s words have stayed with me over the years, and the Holy Spirit brings them to mind during times when I am tempted to try and control life.
I’ve discovered that celebrating my smallness is where Christ wants to meet me. And my "regular" Tuesdays have become a weekly reminder of smallness in my own life.
It’s easy for me to get tangled in a fast-paced world, distracted by hustle, driven to produce, hungry to check everything off my list. What seems good for my schedule is often suffocating for my soul, but I don’t realize this until my schedule gets wonky and my soul starts to shake.
So here’s to the difficult Tuesday moments in our lives — may we not be so quick to shove them aside. Instead, may we celebrate our smallness by looking for Christ on the other side of frustrating. May we give our souls some room to follow our key verse, to be still and know that He is God.
Dear God, Help me let go of the constructed life and embrace the connected life, even if it means I don’t get all my work finished. Remind me to be still in Your presence so I might remember that my soul is made to find my rest in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Colossians 1:17, "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Find five minutes to close your eyes, place your hands gently on your lap and be still in the presence of Christ. Don’t make a list, read a verse or do anything except breathe and know you are loved.