In the midst of emails, data analysis, research, interviews, and meetings, two songs have been on replay. They play through my headphones and echo long after I leave HOPE for the day. And with the summer winding down, they seem fitting.
You can get lost in the music for hours, honey. You can get lost in a room. We can play music for hours and hours, but the sun will still be coming up soon. The world’s just spinning a little too fast. If things don’t slow down soon we might not last. So just for a moment let’s be still.
But these days, they are numbered…I need this faith to keep be walking, to keep me alive.
Those might sound like sad lyrics, or at least sobering ones, but I think that’s the point. These songs speak of truth. With this whirlwind of a summer, they feel like lyrics written to the tune of everyday life.
I’ve noticed that people seem to be dreaming of enough time. Time to rest, time to live, time to have a hobby, time to play, time to sit and be. At the same time, they continually add odds and ends to their plates. They don’t allow space in their lives to be still, but they did, at one point, make plans for that.
But I believe we are called to be people who learn to be still.
It’s easier said than done. I work 6 days a week. Fridays are my only day off, and I protect it furiously and without shame. I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t take time during the week to unplug, I will be unhealthy in the long run. Life is still busy, don’t get me wrong. Most days, I collapse into bed and wonder what day it is and wonder when my brain will shut off.
Is today Thursday, or is tomorrow Thursday? Also, how did it get to be Thursday? When do I move home? Hey, I need a job. Speaking of jobs, I should check my bank account. Oh wait, did I make my loan payment for this month? I wonder what the real world is like. Is this the real world? Mental note: call mom.
Speaking of the real world, I don’t want to be an adult who fills her life with so much to do that she can’t sit and be. Jesus made space in his life to pull away from others and pray. I’ve often heard preachers refer to this life choice as something we should do once in a while, like a vacation. But I’m not convinced that Jesus used “vacation” or “retreats” as his only time of rest. I think he carved out time in his days, his weeks, his months, his years to be still. Because he knew his days were numbered. He was intentional with his time as he served communities. But wasn’t he also just as intentional about pulling away? He was a limitless God who knew his limit as a human.
I so deeply desire this intentionality. I desire to recognize my limit and to set boundaries because I will never be effective as a worn and torn person. So today I ran, spent time with God, ate lunch with my roommate, picked up a few groceries, and went to Prince St. Cafe to sit and be. And in a couple of hours I will go to work until I finally climb back into bed.
So just for a moment, let’s be still. Because these days are numbered.
Songs: Let’s Be Still; These Days are Numbered by The Head and the Heart.