Assignment # 1: Find a piece of paper. Not always easy in our ‘paperless’ society. Junk mail will do – that never seems to go away. Take just one sheet and hold it in your hand. Hold it up! Good. Let’s continue.
Today was a chore. Getting up after a restless night started my challenging day. It was too early. I was too tired. The lights were too bright. The water was too cold. The iron wasn’t hot enough. None of my clothes were comfortable. Worst of all, I couldn’t find the right shoes. Ugh! It doesn’t end there. Next came the struggle to wake my son who strongly pointed out that it wasn’t even the right time for me to wake him. “I know,” I pleaded, “but, today I have to be at work early…” The covers were drawn tightly over his head with a heaving moan. I pretend not to notice and ask (in my perkiest mom voice) whether he’d like to get dressed in his room or in the bathroom. Muffled grunts rumble from beneath the blanket. “Ok, I’ll leave your clothes here for you then.” It’s a good thing the blanket was over his head so he couldn’t see the pasted-on smile I was wearing beneath that perky tone. Next was the lunch fiasco. The bread was moldy. The carrots were dry. The yogurt expired yesterday. The juice was nearly empty. I just closed my eyes and hoped I would find $2.00 somewhere in the bottom of my purse. “You get to buy your lunch today!” That perky voice was back. Then we started what has become an unfortunate routine in our mornings. The never-ending litany of preposterous questions and criticisms about everything. Why do I have to flush? Do I have to use toothpaste? My shoes aren’t comfortable! This shirt is choking me! Can I bring a toy? Wait, I have to feed the cat! I can’t eat that for lunch! Eventually, after the perkiness succumbed to sternness, we were ready.
At work, the children all showed up today. The teachers, sadly, did not. Ok. We can do this. Shift three kids there, two over here, one teacher moves here, three phone calls, a wave of my magic wand, and…DONE. Well, at least for now. (By the way, are you still holding that piece of paper? I hope so!) Now to sort out the problem of medicine without paperwork and paperwork without medicine (they really should match, you know). Somewhere on my desk is the information packet for the tour that’s scheduled to come later in the day. I really need to find that. Did I mention, yet, that the bus needed gas? Grab the keys and head out the door and….there’s the phone, right on cue! Oh my, it’s only 8:00am. It’s going to be a long day!
The day continued in similar fashion. I’m not quite sure what was accomplished today, beyond survival. Near the end of the day, I’m proud to say I was able to smile (marginally) after being called a rather discourteous name (one which I cannot repeat). After another adventure in “questions and criticisms” while trying to retrieve my son from his grandparents’ house, I’m finally headed home to make some dinner. Oh, but first there’s homework (I can’t find the right book!), then dishes to be done (oops, forgot to buy dish soap), laundry to be finished (why is the dryer not drying?!), and a shower that somehow gets more water on the bathroom floor than on the six-year-old.
I can hear you all nodding, laughing and groaning in agreement. You’ve had days like this, haven’t you?! It’s not so uncommon. This really wasn’t such a horrible day. These were all small things. The trouble came when I woke up in the wrong frame of mind to approach it.
Still have that paper? How does it feel now? That tiny, insignificant piece of paper probably feels bothersome now. That’s what happens when we hold on to things – even small things – for too long. They begin to feel heavy. They weigh us down. We need to let go. Sometimes, we just need to ask someone to share the load with us.
Assignment #2 – put down your paper. I just let go of mine. By the way….thanks for taking it from me.
How true! Some days its the details that take the forefront and truly rob us of our joy. What often saves us is knowing that we are not weighed down, abandoned, standing in the desert place alone. I know that, for me, a simple “remember that you are not alone” – such as I received numerous times from friends yesterday — lifts the weight and lets me know that when Jesus is for us, who could possibly be against us? Blessings for a weightless day!