When I sit, my leg is swinging or my toe is tapping.
It’s not a matter of impatience or boredom. It’s that inner fidgeter saying ‘What’s next?’ ‘Shouldn’t you be doing something?’
Lately I’ve been reading about happiness – seemingly one of the authors had accessed my inner wiring. She showed me what I already knew: I love listening to and being with my people – family, friends. But the me I’m ‘supposed to be’ has locked up the real me. Then I had an aha moment.
First, I realized I am a Mary raised to be a Martha. Guilt has been my companion whenever I’m not doing. And so the leg swings when I sit without the next thing. The toe taps when the mental list is being reviewed.
But the real aha moment was this: I realized I had a Martha mom who was happy in all the doing – and it didn’t necessarily mean she expected the same from me, or even that she was disappointed if I wasn’t doing.
Perhaps I had lost my way in the continual pursuit of making everyone happy.
Pausing from my reading, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge: It’s true, your momma loved you even when you weren’t in motion – and your Heavenly Father does too. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27a NIV)
Deep sigh – letting out years of wondering and wandering.
So am I free to just sit and soak in conversation ‘round the table? To not always have the cleanest house?
Yes! Jesus is our perfect example. Though He had much to do and did much while He was here, in those people-connecting moments there was no hint of Him checking His watch, no hurry to move on to the next thing.
With Him a broken woman was free to take as long as she needed to wash His feet with her tears. A disciple could have questions and not feel like He was wasting the Savior’s time. With Jesus we don’t have to have a checked off ‘to-do’ list. And we are free to share that same attentiveness with others.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 NIV)
For me a slowing has come – and with it freedom. In His perfect timing He sets us free indeed – freeing us to be who He made us to be. For some it may be to accomplish more, do more, be more. But for others, like me, by letting go of striving we can find freedom in the still moments – and release from all our fidgeting.
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