This time last year I was mustering the energy to make dinner and take the dog for a slow walk. I hated running into people because they always asked what I was doing. I don’t do anything, I told my husband, I just be. No one wants to hear that. Or maybe I don’t want to say it. Whatever it was, there was something to it. Learning how to be. To have only a little bit more than that to offer the world.
This year I can answer the question about what I am doing. But in between all that doing is an unsettledness. I believe in balance but I’ve lost hold of it.
(Which is why I wish someone would ask me for a sermon about it. The next best thing to doing something right yourself is telling someone else how to do it.)
I found a partridge brooding over two light brown speckled eggs the other day. She scared me half to death and then she thrilled me. I wanted to see if I could get show the kids the next day without disturbing her. She was hard to see, but she was there. I should have walked back delighted. Instead I felt frustrated. The lawn not mowed, the house not vacuumed, the floor not mopped. I was tired.
For the last little while I have fallen to bed exhausted and overwhelmed, having poured myself into the doing only to arrive at my pillow feeling further behind than when I awoke. I try harder the next day with the same results. The need to be has worked itself into a roar within my ears. And still I’m not sure. What about the list?
In high school, I sang hymns by the hour. I didn’t know about the physiological benefits of singing, I just knew I left the hymns different than I came to them. In a world where there was nothing I could do to affect change, I wanted to survive. The hymns were my early lesson in being. Along the way, they embedded themselves into the fabric of me. Dear friends, they come to me while I’m mowing, doing dishes, or wanting to kill my offspring, it really doesn’t matter. A line here, a line there.
My hope is built on nothing less – Oh Love, that wilt not let me go -Come Thou, fount of every blessing – Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild restless seas…
Drunk with doing, the ache from which I run remains. From the noise of May’s drive to accomplish, I begin to hear –
Be Thou my vision…
I sit with it and let it sing, and then another comes.
Be still my soul…
I stop. I breathe deep and I don’t sing it. The first line is enough.
be. still. my soul, mind and body.