We are having a hockey party tonight. Well, I do live in Canada after all, and we love our hockey. And tonight, though neither of the final two teams are from my native land, we will gather in our living room to watch the last game of the NHL playoffs and cheer and yell and boo and eat burgers and sausage and drink beer. Of course, we are cheering for Nova Scotian born Sidney Crosby (and his team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, by default). It will be a great way to end a good week.
On Monday, I embarked on my new summer schedule. No, it is not 3 hours by the pool, 4 hours in the park. I don't even have a pool, unless you count the half inch of water that accumulates on my balcony after a sweet, summer rain. When the school year ended at the end of April, I said I wanted to do a bunch of stuff this summer that I didn't have time for during the year due to a hectic study and work and church stuff and life schedule. And after the month of May raced by with its parade of non-stop visitors and a road trip to a conference in the East while I blinked, I realised that June was going to do the same if I didn't take action. I sure didn't want to end up at September and realise that not a single thing on my list of "Things I Want to Do This Summer" had been crossed off.
So I became my own boss. I gave myself a job description. For the next three months, I am to blog at least 3 times a week, I am to complete my online work of fiction if possible, and I am to read at least one chapter a day to familiarize myself with the writings of Evelyn Underhill, a 20th century mystic on whom I will be doing a major research paper starting in September. That means from 12 - 3 pm, Monday through Friday, I write, edit, and read. Sounds easy, right?
At 12:01 pm on Monday, the laundry screamed that it needed to be done immediately. My stomach growled and demanded that lunch be served first. I had travel arrangements to research and accounting to do and emails to answer and a bank deposit to make. I had milk to buy and a bathroom to clean and 2 good fiction books that I just started. Plus, the bed wasn't made yet! But my boss was firm. She shushed all the screaming and said, "Not now. I'll get to you later. This time has been set aside for the creative process to breathe and for the mind to expand, and that's what's going to happen." And that is what did happen.
I often find the same pattern when I try to read my Bible or talk to God or even write a note to a friend. The dishes are yelling at me and the TV starts a really good show and the counter begs to be tidied up and there are weekend plans to confirm with friends and the whining Jazz to let out on the balcony for a few minutes. The things that need me to be quiet and open my spirit are not demanding at all. The voice of God rarely badgers me. It waits for me in the still corners of my soul. As a general rule, it does not interrupt. It waits for a space in my life where it can be heard, when I am really listening, when the ears and eyes of my soul are open, when my mind is not racing ahead, and when my attention is pulled from the screaming voices in my life to the thrilling whisper of a still, small, loving voice.
I am learning the power of "shush" in my life, the ability to still all those voices and tasks that demand my immediate attention like unruly children, and to give my spirit time and space to be, to create, to listen, and to grow.
Here's to Sidney Crosby and reaching one's goals. *clink of glasses*
This photo of SC from http://www.thetwolinepass.com/.