March 3, 2011

Normalness


Last month’s blur of activity has certainly begun to settle out into a smurky* calmness. Things are settling back into the routine. Work in the bakery. Mix the dough. Tenderly place dozens of perfectly shaped loaves into their caskets. Pull them from the oven at just the perfect moment. Run to class. Sit through another lecture. Write down another homework assignment. Chip away at the backlogged homework. Struggle to keep my nose above the waves in the pool of reading assignments. Eat a meal or two. Sleep at normal times. Get up and do it all over again…

And I’m starting to feel it. It’s not a feeling that comes often, but I nevertheless recognize it as an old friend. It’s that little, restless thought that “things are getting so normal.” No braving icy roads with a canvassing van. No breaking, pressing, everybody-is-going-to-starve-if-you-don’t-get-this-done deadlines. No late nights in the cafeteria washing stacks of dishes after everyone else has gone home. No team to organize and motivate. No canvassing leader vs. police episodes. No late nights coupled with impossibly early mornings. No constantly vibrating cell phone. No adrenaline. No drive. No motivation. Just the routine. I call it normalness. Granted I’m not good at managing people, nor do I handle stress as well as I might…but I love it, I thrive on it, and I miss it, and I can’t help but seek out every opportunity to get more of it.

But for now, for the sake of my health, sanity, and spiritual well-being, I must accept this time of dealing with normalness. (Thank you, Jaimie, for this reminder.)

For me, normalness comes as a kind of awkward, eery silence– kind of like when you’re in the middle of a loud, busy, crazy dream, and all of a sudden you wake up and it’s pitch-black dark and oh, so silent. After the noise, rush and energy, normalness is quiet, dark and, well, a little smurky– and in the stillness my thoughts seem to throb as loud as a passing freight train. And there in the dark stillness of normalness I refocus, re-center, and re-prioritize. I need that time, much as I naturally dislike it. We’ve all got to come away sometimes.

There will be more things to do. Another canvassing program is only days away, complete with new challenges and opportunities. For today there is rest appointed to the weary–even those weary persons who are too stubborn to admit that they are. :-)

Love this gentle rebuke…

The "one thing" that Martha needed was a calm, devotional spirit, a deeper anxiety for knowledge concerning the future, immortal life, and the graces necessary for spiritual advancement. She needed less anxiety for the things which pass away, and more for those things which endure forever. Jesus would teach His children to seize every opportunity of gaining that knowledge which will make them wise unto salvation. The cause of Christ needs careful, energetic workers. There is a wide field for the Marthas, with their zeal in active religious work. But let them first sit with Mary at the feet of Jesus. Let diligence, promptness, and energy be sanctified by the grace of Christ; then the life will be an unconquerable power for good.--DA 525

*smurky: adj A new coinage intended to express the compound thought that the “calmness” has an annoying smirk on its face and that it is dark and murky like a stagnant pond. You know, smurky

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