It’s January 10, and I just saw a man walk past my office window walking his dog while wearing a pair of plaid shorts. There is no reason why I should have the January doldrums, and yet I do. This is an odd time of the year for a church worker; after the race of Christmas has finished, my first instinct is to lay flat on my back and breathe a huge sigh of relief. However, there is no time to sit still. There are annual reports to write and print and Lenten services to plan. There is a budget to look over. As if that wasn’t enough, I decided to throw in a book study in the interim time between Christmas and Lent.
There is absolutely no reason for me to feel grumpy, and realizing that only makes me grumpier. Intellectually, I know it’s a part of the natural rhythms of life. After the rush of the highly emotional (yet often fun) Christmas season, we are still left with months of winter. There is bound to be a downward swing after the frenzy of the holidays. I miss setting my sights on Christmas and working to a goal of vacation and spending time with my family. I don’t want to work to get rid of the extra Christmas cookies I ate over the last few weeks. I’m coming off a bad cold, and it’s taking me a while to refocus my sights on the future. I am excited about what is coming next, yet I feel a bit like I’m walking under water. I know it’s a celebration of pity: party of one.
I don’t want to write a blog about feeling crabby. Yet that’s where I am today. Isn’t that a part of life? God created us as we are, with emotions and reactions that are wholly human. I know I should count my blessings, feeling profoundly grateful for all I have. I know I should refocus my sights on serving others. I know this inward focus is a part of my sinful self, telling me that what I have is not enough. And I will.
But for now, I want to sit with a God who doesn’t attack me with shoulds. I want to be with the God who knows me inside and out, who wants to sit by my side as I walk through the ups and downs of life. I want to be still, to know God is God, and wait for God to call me out when I’m ready. I pray for God to surround me with the people I need, and I pray God will tell me when to ask for help. For I know, as Augustine said, I will be restless until I am resting in God.
God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in!
Psalm 139: 1-6 (from The Message)