I am so glad I am a human being and not a human doing. And right now, when I have no job, no leadership roles, no activities and no huge “to do” list, it is much easier to just be. It’s amazing how easy it is to be busy. To rush around, get stressed, feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. I am really good at doing this. Sometimes it seems the busier you are the more important you are, the more prestigious you are. But how absolutely comforting it is to realize I’m not god. I am not the saviour of the universe. I am a human being and I can rest guilt-free! Of course, this is easy to say when I have so much free time. But I think rest is more of an attitude than a state of circumstances (although I’m dearly thankful for my current sabbatical!). An attitude that knows that ultimately, I’m not the one who’s going to make the earth rotate or the sun rise. That Someone profoundly powerful and loving is in control and it’s not all up to me. And what’s more, He doesn’t love or value me for what I can do for Him. He treasures me because I am His. Be still and know that I am God, Psalm 46:10.
It’s strange that the initial few weeks of our move to England have been so stress free; to the point of leaving behind a funny cloud of anxiety lying over the absence of the usual hum drum of what used to be normal life. I have repeatedly got up in the morning unusually alert, sat up in bed with ears perked forward, eyes wide and almost salivating, ready to go and tackle some job, take down some task. You know, win some bread, bring home the bacon. Then like a brick to the face, I realize that this is a new season and that the pace has changed. And I realize that I’m not really sure how to grasp that. So I reach for my running shoes and hit the trail. Irrespective of where we have been—Haddenham, St. Andrews or Edinburgh—this has been the pattern almost every morning.
As the rhythm of my feet on the trail drum the last remnants of sleep and lethargy out into the morning air, the old familiar smells of thyme, willow herb and cattle grazing fill my lungs. Taking me on a journey back to a time when living the present, free from anxiety was the default… not something I had to strive for.
A time when habits and routines that now structure my life were a foreign concept. When what I did best was live in the moment, without fretting about what lay ahead. Trusting that parents had that figured out! I was totally at ease running through the cattle fields with friends. Jumping over rivers, laughing joyously with both arms holding on for dear life to a wispy thread of tattered rope, sopping wet feet trailing behind. Standing on mangers hurling stones at each other and hearing the woossh go by, like a humming birds in mating season, dangerously close to our care free little heads.
Today, as I ran I felt nostalgic for those times and yet part of me is stuck in a place that yearns for structure and routine. It would be so liberating to trust that the following week, day or even the next moment will be its’ own. Will be totally cared for, in its’ own time and space. Then you could let it be, stop fussing and enjoy the present. Even if it is in a time when you haven’t got a clue what is happening the next day, week or year. I want to do that.
It’s funny, because if I look back at how things have come together in harmony in the past I can begin to chill out, knowing that the future will sing in harmony too. Even if the tune it sings is totally different to the one I had in mind. When I was a teenager, I wanted nothing more than for my life to reverberate an apathetic grunge song but after a few unexpected turns the minor keys lost their sinister feel, jumped up and got some rhythm and next thing you know I was in the midst of a happy hardcore rave with fluorescent paint in my hair and glow sticks in hand. Right now, I don’t quite know what melody is piping out of my life, it’s definitely not pop and it is without a doubt not polished. But I think I’m just going to let it flow, because it’s my tune and I am excited to see what will happen to it next.