Once I realized that I was fighting battles that weren’t mine to fight, I decided to take a month off to retreat and regroup. I watched minimal news and viewed even less social media. I tried to avoid talking about politics and the coronavirus. I spent more time resting, reading, writing, walking, and praying. I am happy to report the following results.
I am refreshed. Just like an unexpected summer rain takes away the heat and pollution and tiredness that builds up, so too my respite has washed away my weariness and my energy has been restored.
I feel renewed and ready to resume my activities with a new spirit, and I have a visual reminder of this new lease on life. A creature of habit and routine, I really don’t like change. Consequently, for all twelve years that I have lived in my home, every wall in my house has remained the nondescript mocha it was when I moved in. That is until about a month ago. The lock-down left me with some time on my hands, and too much time staring at those walls. So I finally heeded the urgings of others and took a chance. I painted two rooms in bold colors. The dry walls soaked up the new paint, and the rooms took on a whole new freshness and look. I feel the same way.
Finally, I was able to reset. During my years as a teacher at Clovis West High School, I ran the clock for all the girls basketball games. Sometimes, I would get so involved in the action of the game, I would forget to start or stop the clock on time. As a result (usually because a coach noticed and complained), play would stop, and the ref would come over and have me reset the clock to the correct time. Then play would resume.
This was what I had needed to do as well. I had become so distracted by all the voices around me that I wasn’t listening to the only voice that was important. I needed to reconnect with my God and refocus on what He wanted me to hear. And funnily enough, in a world with so many conflicting voices and opinions, His command was so straightforward and simple and had never changed:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 30-31)
Oh, how different our world and relationships would be, if we just focused on these two things.