I went outside earlier today to have my lunch under the big, beautiful shade tree in our backyard.
It was a warm day, my heart was feeling heavy, and I just needed some time alone with God. . I have actually been feeling sad the last few days and don’t know why.
It’s at times like these that I recognize when I go desperately looking for answers to the “Why” question, it’s generally my way of trying to get the feeling to stop. If I can understand why I have it, then I can control it and make it go away. NOT!
This is when I need to go quiet, be still and let the uncomfortable feeling be with me until it goes away. I don’t like waiting for a painful feeling to go away. I want it gone right NOW!!!
As I sat there looking around the yard, at the flowers we just planted and the new fence that gives us some much needed privacy, I saw a bunch of dried-up brown leaves gathered up against the furthest part of the back yard, not too far from where I was sitting having lunch.
What a mess that is back there, I thought to myself.
“Why don’t you clean it up?” God said.
“What?” I mumbled. “It’s not my job to clean up this mess. It’s the gardener’s job.”
“Hm. Well since you’re the one looking at it and you have some time, why don’t you take a little while and rake up the leaves? And why not water the flowers that are really looking beautiful right now as well.” God replied to my whining.
“Come on God. I just came out here to have lunch with you.” I responded. “Besides, I have work to do.”
“Work?” God questioned curiously.
“What work do you need to be doing right now that could be any better than feeding my plants and raking the dead leaves that are preventing my plants from breathing?” He continued.
“I’m supposed to be doing something BIG, like changing the world, in Your name of course.” I said.
“Susan, I am the one who changes the world. You are my child, and it’s not your responsibility to take care of anything other than what I am asking you to take care of. It’s time for you to learn to relax and trust that I have everything under control. You don’t have to try so hard anymore.”
“Of that’s right. Don’t just do something. Sit there. But God that is one of the hardest things for me to do….be still. Aren’t I supposed to be productive doing Your will?” I asked.
“All you need to do is BE. You were never meant to be a human doing, just a human being. It’s really that simple, but I know it’s not easy. It’s almost impossible for my children to get this lesson.”
“Why God?” I wondered out loud.
“Because you’re human. It’s your humanness that pulls you into the world calling you to do something. In my world, I ask for your time. Not all your time, just some of your time. There will always be enough hours in the day to get done what needs to get done. But I want time with you so I can pour my love and attention over you. So I can bring you peace in a crazy and hectic day. It’s ME I want you to adore, not the goals of the world.”
“I get it God. Please help me to learn this one. I want to slow down and hear your voice. I am hungry to know Your will for me, and I am so clear that I can’t do it on my own.” I pleaded. “I’m tired and sad and don’t know why.”
“Just rake the leaves and water the flowers.” He suggested.
“But isn’t that just what I’m supposed to stop doing, being busy?” I said.
“Only when it’s your will that you are focusing on that keeps you away from me. And you know exactly what I mean.” God laughed, as He whispered His words to me.
He was right. I knew perfectly well what He was referring to. I have pushed my will for a long time and, it never left me feeling fulfilled and complete.
So I grabbed the rake, the big green trash can and my husband’s gloves and I went about doing God’s work in the garden.