I was stewing the other day. And by stewing I don't mean making delicious morsels for my family to partake of. I mean smoke coming out of my ears stewing. Just to be clear.
It was one of those days where you just can't figure out why you are doing the same things over and over and over and over and over and over again, and nothing is being learned, nor any ground being gained. Kind of like when you say for the 500th time, "Little Jimmy did you wash your hands after you went to the restroom?" and little Jimmy says, "Yes." Only it's the guiltiest little "yes" you ever did hear. And kind of like when you just get done folding the 7th load of laundry for the day only to realize you forgot an entire basket. You know those moments when you think to yourself, "Is this really my life?"
So anyway, it was one of those moments for me and I was suddenly thrown into an alternate reality. It was a beautiful place. Palm trees surrounded the crystal clear water of the most gorgeous aqua hue. The purest white sand squished between my toes with exquisite squishiness. Servants waited on me hand and foot. Children were frolicking in the warmth of the sunshine lovingly, gleefully, and void of all contention and loud noisiness. Dust never settled, laundry spontaneously folded itself, scrumptious dinners that everyone loved appeared at the immaculately set table with clean children using their best manners. Everything was free and money was not even a word. Oh wait, we are talking about reality, not dreams. Pardon me.
So. I am stewing. The alternate reality jogs up to my pace and slows to walk with me. I hear this beautiful whisper, "Slow down. It's not the sprint today. It's the distance run." The distance run? Ah, things are beginning to come into focus. No wonder I am so exhausted and can't find the finish line.
Turns out, my reality of wanting everything to be done is the alternate reality. I was measuring things with the wrong instrument, and boy does it matter. That pretty little finish line with the red tape and all those loving faces cheering you on, that place is death, crossing over to the next phase. I am still here.
I am now looking for the loving fans cheering from the sidelines, the finish line can stay far away. All those little tables with cups of energy boosting drinks to keep you going for the next 50 miles; that's my new normal. I don't know how long this race is. I have no map offering me a "heads up" on the hills, hurdles, sharp curves, and other obstacles that will come. However, I do know something. The more I keep running, the more I want to keep going. The more I enjoy the repetition, the more my muscles become accustomed to the distance of it all and the easier it feels. Mostly though, pace matters.
It's okay to slow up for the hills. The point is to get up there, not how fast you do it. It's okay to take things in stride and blow right by sometimes. Not everything is meant to be savored. Getting through one step at a time is sometimes the most graceful way to go. It's not always fun. It's not always pretty. It is however, always rewarding. The best part; my steps don't need to match anyone else. I can get there when I get there and you can get there when you get there. It's the perfect race because there is no winner but there are enough gold medals for everyone. The point is to get there. The pace is irrelevant.
Thanks sweet voice of the Holy Spirit. Thanks gracious and loving God for never leaving my side. Thanks amazing family and friends who know just where to place all the little tables and just what "drink" to have waiting. Life is never done. Children are never really "raised". This is my life. This is my race. I am settling in for the distance run and loving every minute of it.