The Busy Whirl

by Whitney Hale July 07, 2011

Writing. Birthday Celebrations. Dishes. Prayer. Schedules. Marriage building. Doctor’s appointments. Eating Healthy. Vacuuming. Giving gifts. Pregnancies. Dates. Planting. Church. Holidays. Children. Playing. Work. Mentoring. Volunteering. Budgeting. Singing. Serving community. Friends. Cooking. Family. Working out. And you can feel the rush. You know it too. The busy whirl so loud it causes unconscious souls, schedules too busy for love, and no beauty in moments. I sometimes taste the sadness. The regrets after each event that there was no time to do it right. The busyness drowns life and peace and joy.

Ann Voskamp, in her book, One Thousand Gifts, says, “On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.” And she is right. There is no glory in the busy hurry, but it is an ancient struggle. Psalm 39 explores the measure of a man’s days (v.4-6) and shares my pleading with God:

O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

And at the end of the psalm (v.12), the psalmist begs, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears!...” There is longing to watch my son’s delight in a moment of pushing a Tonka truck across the den. There’s wishing for more coffee with my husband and non-schedule and logistics oriented talk. I want God more in those moments. I long to be at that place where I take a breath, and He is sweet. I long to experience Him when I drink a glass of wine with my friends or take a moment to revel in His grace after my cousin performs in a musical.

I want God to give me those moments, and I want Him to not withhold His peace. Peace. Not survival. Peace in the busy moments changes the game, redeems dirty dishes, takes a deep breath when the door to the backyard opens, prays for enemies, holds when children cry out, and recognizes beauty.

And for me, peace reads. There is resounding respite in the words of Scripture and I revel in the words of literature like Ruminate. A poem on a beautiful page can offer solace and calm.

Even my one year old son recognizes this age old truth. He will climb in my lap with his Goodnight Moon, O the Thinks You Can Think!, or The Very Hungry Caterpillar and he wants to touch each page, hear my voice, and find rest in my arms. The schedule fillers seem to win on most days, but I am re-prioritizing, meditating on words, and begging God for peace in this.




Whitney Hale
Whitney Hale

Author

Whitney Hale serves as a reader for Ruminate from 2007-20010. She received her BA in English from Liberty University and is currently working for the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She writes in her free time for a few organizations and is a strong believer in the reconciliation of people from all places, races, and backgrounds. She is still madly in love with her high school sweetheart whom she married at the ripe old age of 19 and they have two toddler boys who are 19 months apart.



1 Response

Amy Lowe
Amy Lowe

February 17, 2017

Thank you Whitney, I needed to hear this!

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