We don’t have time to stop right now. We need to keep the pace. There’s so much to do and so little time to do it in. But the sidewalk’s edge was so inviting. It compelled us to stall our pace even if for a moment. “We’re just going to sit right here for a bit,” we said. “It will be good for us,” we said. And it was.
My husband and I went to a concert. We had returned from our whirlwind trip to Europe only two nights before. I bought the concert tickets before our trip thinking we would be fine but I failed to consider other things in life that would be tossed into the mix, like the upcoming overseas move, and for jetlag to weigh heavily on our eyelids. But alas, it was Sara Groves, Brandon Heath and a new duo to us, Jenny & Tyler. Sara Groves is in my top few faves of all time and with our impending move, I could not miss a chance to sing with her. So we grabbed a cup of strong coffee and went – even in the zombie-like state we were.
I missed my early wake up the next morning, which means I missed my husband’s and my scheduled morning check in over coffee that has become a priority. I woke up fretting, heavy-hearted and a bit teary-eyed as I fought feelings of failure. Again. As my husband and I discussed how tired we both were, he mentioned that we probably would have enjoyed the concert more had we not been so tired and overwhelmed but it was probably what it was supposed to be for us. He met my feelings of failure with grace and said that the concert and my sleeping in was what we needed – that we needed to sit on the sidewalk for a bit to rest.
I had paid extra for “gold circle” tickets so when we got there we found our places on the front row feeling like VIPs. Only we were sitting on the sidewalk’s edge with our hearts postured like that of a young child with arms wrapped around their folded knees watching in wonder as the cars go by. We beheld so many stories of life and love and service for the Kingdom. We didn’t move much. We didn’t even sing much but it was like balm to the soul to sit there and take it all in. So much was said that was encouraging and fulfilling and inspiring. When I would typically take notes (because my brain so quickly forgets things), I couldn’t muster the energy to fat finger the words on my phone. I just listened and let God fill the spaces. I don’t remember what they said now but it was good. We left better than we came. We left more tired than we came as noted by the beastly hour drive home. Our bodies fell hard on the bed and our heads hit the pillow in peace having rested, having worshiped.
In this season of our life that feels like we’re constantly exhaling, we sacrificed the time to sit on the sidewalk for a bit and inhale. And we breathed it in deeply.
“Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship. Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.” Romans 12:1-2 (The Voice)