The Ticking, the Tocking, the Stopping

I twist my own fingers, & warm them - like a pianist preparing to perform her own concerto.

A little like that, but smaller.

My cup of caffeine is cold & almost empty, as the morning wanes.

A morning of waiting. Stillness, in its least filling form.

I quietly resolve to wait with better purpose than I normally do.

I am a waiter.

A right-on-timer.

If you tell me I need to be ready for something by 8a.m., I will try to wake up two hours before then, & be ready by 7:45. When the clock reads 7:56, I will already assume you are late, & might have died, until I stop & Read that aforementioned clock.

It's a little psychotic, the way I wait.

It's a panicky wait.

Eyes on the door, as if my very life depended on it.

Hands clutching the phone in case they contact me & it's desperate.

My idea of desperate has become wildly skewed.

"Desperate" is 5 minutes late, or worse, a cancellation.

If I'm really feeling like taking care of myself, I'll use my minutes of margin to make myself a fortifying cup of English Breakfast, but knowing me, I already downed that 30 minutes ago. I am, after all, on a schedule.

This is how I wake.

The measured glances at the clock, so ingrained of a habit, that I am often able to know intuitively how much time has gone by before looking. But I always double check.

I hear my inner tick-tock as I do things that should be helping me unwind.

Maybe that is the true meaning behind the term, "unwinding." Releasing our tight hold of the clock wound within us, & letting time just unfold.

The ever-ticking time infiltrates my sleep schedule as well.

No matter how early I head for bed, I remember a thousand things I need to do, & either keep myself up thinking about them, or get so stressed that I end up doing them. Either way, I sacrifice hours.

Sometimes I realize as I crawl into bed that I didn't take any time to breathe throughout the day.

So I try to unwind then.

You know, quickly.

Because it's hard to fall asleep when you're that tightly wound.

Therein lies my problem.

It dawned on me as my yesterday closed.

I was trying to psych myself into a peaceful state by imagining safe places & comfort. Making up stories. Because reality usually keeps me awake.

& then I remembered something infinitely worth repeating:

There is peace in my reality. There is space for rest in my now. There is a safe place for me here. & there is comfort to be found. 

I've been waiting all wrong.

Forgive me, I've been doing this for so long.

I've been tapping my foot anxiously for things out of my control, as if my preparation could turn the tide in my mayhem.

I've been holding so tight to my schedule in hopes of it listening to my commands & wishes.

& this season of newness has sparked a huge fear in me: that my schedule will start controlling me instead. That I won't be strong enough to master the work schedules, the classes, the commitments.

I forget so easily that I was never meant to be strong enough to master this all alone. I don't have to be.

Because I'm not in this alone.

I embraced Psalm 18 this morning, with all its God-nouns - such a declaration that it has always been in His control anyway. & that He always desires to come & save.

He delights in us. How much of a release that brings. He has deep joy in us, whether or not we succeed.

There's so much grace for us here.

Grace to attempt. To fight for good things. To unwind when we need to.

I think this lesson isn't too late for us. It's never too late.

I look at that daunting schedule with new eyes, as I realize that when things are in His hands, they don't follow the world's cookie-cutter stigmas.

Time is multiplied. Strength is increased, Joy takes us off guard. We find a second wind when it makes zero sense. Peace when we are surrounded by chaos.

If our futures look stable & predictable, that's all well & good, but where is the room for the crazy, unpredictable, lavish, Enough grace of the Father?

I'm breathing deep now. Unwinding, in the knowledge that I wasn't supposed to run the world's time anyway. Safe in the hands of the One who is.

There's grace for this great attempt.

It's time to lay some things down. To practice a new kind of waiting. Hands unclenched. Heart wide open.

Time to leave some margin for grace to sweep in.

Time to take my peace with me.

I don't have to pretend, I don't have to perform.

I just get to hold His hand & try.

This could be the grandest of adventures.

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