November 5, 2021
A couple of weeks ago, I met up with a girlfriend for lunch at a local eatery. It was a rainy and cold day, so I was quite content to order a warm autumn squash soup and salad. She ordered what I should have, a hot mint tea. As my friend approached the table, I instantly regretted by drink choice.
After enjoying a few laughs and diving into our meals, our conversation took a serious turn. For whatever reason that day, my heart felt heavy and overwhelmed. I shared that across life areas, my life seemed to be in a holding pattern.
I explained that in my career, I awaited new opportunities and open doors. In my dating relationship, more definitive signs of ‘the next level.’ Spiritually, I longed to experience a breakthrough in relationship to God. I also noted that following my dad’s death in March 2020, both my brothers and I craved closure regarding his estate affairs.
With each example shared, my cheerful countenance shifted into a tearful one. And before I knew it, crocodile tears streamed down my face and fell into my soup. All of the waiting was getting the best of me. Ever been there?
My friend listened with compassionate ears, granting space for my emotions to reside at the table. As I collected myself, she then asked how I’d managed myself in this season.
I knew how to do in the waiting. As a matter of fact, it dawned on me just how much doing I’d done since my dad died. Countless e-mails. Daily devotionals. Document reviews. Thousands of prayers. Lots of busy-ness to help settle my mind.
Yet my thoughts were no less anchored as a result of the all the doing. As a matter of fact, my actions seemed to ignite more worry, restlessness, and even doubt.
My heart’s intent throughout the past 19 months has been to solve problems, help myself, and find ways to minimize the discomfort of my circumstances. As my friend and I spoke, however, it became clear that my doing hadn’t really yielded any tangible fruit. I acknowledged that I have absolutely no control over the doors that open in my career. Or the rate at which my relationship progresses. How God pursues and communicates with me. Or how fast ‘the system’ resolves a legal matter.
I’m powerless to change much of anything really.
Though I still experienced the weight of my sadness, a shift occurred within me as I sat across the table from my friend. My spirit felt a little lighter.
She helped me consider how I could sit with what I’d negatively termed “the bread crumbs” in my life. Instead of trying to stack the crumbs to create something — my superpower, LOL — I reflected on how I might simply enjoy each crumb. Hmmmm …..
Of course, I didn’t have it all figured out at the table. However, the past two weeks have awakened my mind and heart to what’s in front of me. As I allow myself to be in each moment, I’m able to turn down the volume of my worries and doubts. And more importantly, I’m more aware of how blessed my life is … right now.
Wondering how I’ve practiced being these days? (Yep, this takes practice!)
Here are a few ways that have proved most valuable recently …
Just this morning, I imagined myself seated on a bench, looking out to things beyond myself, things beyond my control. Waiting reminds me to remain there, bottom on the seat … no fuss and no rush. Freedom resides right where I am.
You might just discover that what’s most needed is right in front of you. Or better yet, already within you.
Let’s spur one another on to resist the reflex to do and focus more on being. I believe in you.
As always, I’d love for you to share your thoughts.
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