You may or may not know, but I am a champion ping pong player.
My husband knows because he is the one I repeatedly beat in intense sets (ok, and narrowly lost to on a few occasions) on our vacation last week.
You may or may not have known before reading this, but now you certainly do: I am also a great big nerd because I play alot of ping pong on vacation.
This time away--in wonderful, Mexican food-filled San Antonio--was just what Kyle and I needed. We read, slept in, ate yummy food, laid out, walked the Riverwalk, and chatted about any and everything. And, of course, the ping pong.
On the first day, however, I found myself agitated and unable to relax. By the second day, I realized that my restlessness could be attributed to one thing: this was the first vacation I'd gone on with a smart phone in hand. My normal, everyday, crazy life kept invading into my serene surroundings. Or more aptly said, I kept letting my normal, everyday, crazy life invade into my serene surroundings. Like a Pavlov dog, I am so used to jumping at the little green flashing light that announces an email or a text that I couldn't stop checking throughout the day. I couldn't be in the moment with my husband because I was at the beck and call of anyone and everyone else.
Finally, like a drug addict, I asked my husband to hide my phone from me. And it worked, except the time that we were woken up by the "you have a text" tune and I bolted up right in bed, considering whether I should search for the phone.
What has happened to me?
I've asked myself that alot lately as I have struggled to maintain my priorities in the midst of growing busyness. I find myself such a task-master, moving at the speed of light, unable to focus or rest.
Being forced to set the phone down and back away slowly opened the space for the Lord to speak to me. I talked to Him alot about schedule, priorities, people, busyness, and commitments. I told Him how tired I am of running around like crazy, trying to keep the plates spinning and people happy.
He wouldn't let me run away from my life or from the calling He's given us, even though I told Him that I kinda, sorta want that freedom sometimes.
But He spoke to my heart in that simple, profound way that He does that instantly fills me with peace and reassurance, even when it's conviction. In a nutshell, this is what He said: You are thinking in terms of tasks. I want you to think in terms of people and relationships. Don't fill your schedule so much that you don't have the time or the energy for the people of priority in your life. I haven't given you most of the tasks on your list; most of those are because you feel better when you do them or you try to make other people happy. I have given you time for rest and reflection and relationship, but you fill that up with other stuff. Stop doing that. Let me lead, trust Me.
When God speaks so clearly to me, I get excited and feel so gung-ho and thankful about life. But already today, I woke up and had to pray through some stressful things once more. I started in: "God give me wisdom about this busyness..." and He immediately stopped me in my tracks:
I already gave you wisdom. Now you must obey and trust Me.
Of course, He's right. He is the ultimate Task Master.