The last few days have been sunny and cool. The tulips have finished their spring show; iris, peonies, and poppies are taking their turn. Finches and a little family of songbirds serve as our morning wake-up call, and the air smells damp and fresh, as if it had just come out of some cosmic washing machine and been hung out to dry.
I took time today to relax on the big swing hanging from the mulberry tree in our backyard. May has become one of the busier months of the year, what with school concerts and plays, awards banquets, sports play-offs, Mother's Day, and at least in our family, graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries. There are cards to send, events to attend, and gifts to choose, wrap, and deliver.
It was good to sit quietly and do nothing.
It's easy, once I get wound up and busy, to forget how to relax. Sitting still makes me antsy, then. I feel certain I should be doing something. My anxiety is often enough to drive me to the calendar, just to check and be sure I'm not forgetting something.
What a surprise to find unscheduled minutes, even hours . . . surely they need to be filled up with – something.
No, this is a gift of time, space, and beauty, this time on the swing.
I'm not the first to wonder why we keep ourselves so busy, and I won't be the last.
“Be still,” scripture says, “and know that I am God.”
My busyness sometimes deceives me into thinking that if I just work harder or longer or smarter, I can solve some of those problems that, until now, have been God's responsibility.
When I am still, though, I remember. I remember that God is the One who is, and was, and always will be. God is the One who works in and through us, but God is not a slave-driver, working us to nothing, using us up and then discarding us.
God is the One who intends us to have time to be still, to know that He is, and to rest in His presence.
Even on the swing in the backyard.