It’s Friday! Yay! And I’m writing and wrestling words with my lovely friends. This Five Minute Friday #fmfparty is our chance to write unedited on a theme sent out by Kate Motaung. The word-prompt today is STILL.
(You can join in too – here’s how.)
My mind is spinning with thoughts. Be still. The words are turning and twisting and changing meaning as I try to write them. Be still. They don’t want to be pinned down on this page today. ‘But still…’
The words don’t change much, the meaning does. Being still – stationary – becomes a ‘but…’, a waiting with hope. An ‘even though…’. Expectation. And in one slight change, we’ve moved from helpless, exhausted, slowing defeat to a place where strength is regained and we hope again…
I’m reminded of a tale someone told me once* about his grandson, playing wildly with a new toy – a plane I think. The joy, the exhuberance, the ecstasy that only a small child can demonstrate. And then the tragic moment – it crashed beyond repair. There were tears, howling tears.
What did the grandfather do? He drew near. He took the pieces of the toy in his hands and drew the child near. He didn’t take the broken parts away and say too quickly, “We’ll get you a new one.” (He was a counselor and psychologist, which might explain what he did!) He sat there with the child and they looked at the brokenness together. They talked about the plane, what fun it brought. They talked about how disappointed the child was that he couldn’t keep on playing with it as long as he’d hoped. The snivelling child, still gasping and sobbing gently, nestled in. It’s gone. And he became still – as still as the broken plane on the floor.
This week I’ve been considering how I do this myself: ‘look on the bright side!’ or ‘it’ll get better…’ Burnout because I try to generate eternal false hope is not fun, and I’m in need of being still and giving up some of my unrealistic ‘but still…’ thinking. I need to accept some of the deeper losses in my life. And as I do, I am sure that I’ll find hope rising again, but a hope more firmly anchored in my relationship with the One I’m sitting still with.
* I’m pretty sure this was Arch Hart, telling stories to try to teach some overzealous Christian enthusiasts in the UK to ‘thrive in our life’s call’ – ie top tips on how not to burn out! In any case, I’ve found some of his books and teaching very interesting and challenging!