As I finished mowing yesterday morning, my husband pulled the car out of the garage and drove to where I was working. He rolled down the window and told me he'd return in a couple of hours. Shortly after that, I walked the length of the driveway back to the garage to get some water. To my dismay, I discovered that my conscientious husband, out of habit, had closed the garage door. I was locked out.
The neighbors were at work, so I couldn't borrow a phone to call my husband. I was stuck. And more than a little annoyed. I went back to my mowing...and stewed. What was I supposed to do for two hours? The mower was about to run out of juice (it did a quarter of the way through the back yard) and the rest of the yard tools were locked away in the garage. Besides, I had a sermon and articles to write! When was I supposed to get those done? This little "lock out" was going to put me way behind schedule.
As I stewed, I mean, mowed, I consoled myself by imagining the very nice "I'm sorry" lunch to which my husband would treat me when he got home. Oh, it was going to be a nice lunch. A very nice lunch.
Once the mower gave out, I sat...still stewing. Man, it was hot. Even sitting is work when you're sweating. I decided to walk.
As I walked, it hit me--is this not the gift of time that I long for every day? Aren't I always complaining that I never have time just to sit and reflect and pray and be? So after my walk, I sat again in the rocker on the front porch. I relaxed my body, I breathed deeply, and I listened. I heard insects, birds, AC units of neighboring homes, jets flying overhead, dogs barking the next street over. After a few minutes, I felt a breeze--a cool breeze, at that--and was comforted. In my stillness, in my awareness, I experienced God.
Had my husband not locked me out of the house, the usual frenetic pace of my life would have continued "apace." I would have rushed in after mowing, showered, and set immediately to work on some writing task. Because of my "forced" stillness, though, I was able to experience God in as gentle, deep, and real a way as I have done in a long time. What a gift my husband had given me!
When he returned from his errand, Allen was chagrined at his error. I told him not to worry; all was well. Then I quickly showered and changed ... and took him out for a "thank you" lunch.
Peace for your journey,