Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finding Peace in the Hurry Hurry Hurry of Life

Hi Friends,

It's been a busy few weeks here with too little time to stop and breathe.  And I've been noticing the results - frazzled nerves, a lot less patience, a lot more frustration.

So in the midst of it all, I started to watch the rain hitting my windows earlier this week, and I remembered this story.

I’m so tired . . . I can’t do it all. The words limped through my mind as I leaned against the headrest in my Honda Pilot. Rain drummed on the front windshield, accompanied by the steady thump of the wipers.

“Are you all right over there?”

I glanced over at my husband in the driver’s seat. “I dunno.”

“Just relax. We’ll be there in a minute.”

I tried to relax, but the baby started fussing in back seat. Then our 4-year-old began complaining, again, about his seatbelt. “Moooommmmm, it’s too tight.” “Waaaaa…”

I tried to focus on the swish-swosh of the wipers, the patter-smack of the rain. But the kids were louder.

It was supposed to be a quick task. Just drop Bryan off at the shop to pick up his truck, then zoom back home. A few minutes to rest on the way there, then a short drive back, and get to work. But so far, I hadn’t managed a minute of rest. And it wasn’t all the kids’ fault. There were too many thoughts crashing around in my mind. An impossible to-do list, deadlines looming, diapers to change, messages to answer, bills to pay, laundry stacked a mile high, bits and pieces of life scattered about, all shouting for my attention.

It was too much. But that was life. Things had to be done. And I had to do them. But how? My gaze drifted to the side window. There, dozens of raindrops raced in herky-jerky motions across the glass. My eyes followed a group along the jagged, horizontal paths. A moment later, those drops flew off behind us, only to be replaced by others in an endless, useless race.

There was something sad, something awful, about how the raindrops shuddered across the glass. They reminded me of something. No, not something. Someone. Me. Just like them, I too was driven in a frantic rush from one side of the day to the other, often accomplishing little more than moving across the distance.

I pressed my fingertips against the pane and watched as a puff of mist outlined my hand. How could I stop it? The raindrops had no choice. Did I? It didn’t seem like it, and yet . . .

The answer came quickly in the form of a scripture verse I had memorized years before. “Be still, and know that I am God,” God said in Psalm 46:10 (NIV).

I frowned. Be still?! Sure, it sounded good, but honestly, how could that verse apply to me? I had two small, busy children, a business to run, papers due, and writing deadlines looming. There was no time to be still! But what if there was, somehow, someway? What if one of those racing raindrops just paused for a moment on the glass?

As if to answer my question, the Pilot slowed to a stop at a red light. Not one, but all the raindrops shivered then paused. In one instant, they glimmered like a dozen oval diamonds. No more racing. No more frenzy. Then, the light turned green. The Honda picked up speed. But the raindrops didn’t resume their helter-skelter dash. Instead those drops, the ones that paused, made a graceful swoop to the edge of the glass.

I stared at the window as new raindrops resumed the crazed race. It was as if nothing changed. But something had. I’d seen the raindrops that paused. And I knew that somehow I had to pause too. I may still have to get from one side of the glass to the other, but I didn’t have to do it all at once. I could spare a quiet moment in the midst of chaos, a breath of blessed silence, a time to stop the hurry and place my heart, my life, my to-do list, squarely in the hands of God. I needed to stop, even if briefly, to remember who I am, and more importantly, who He is. To breathe a word of praise into the noise of the day. I needed to simply, sometimes, be still.