Yesterday I thought my brain or my heart might explode. One or the other or possibly both simultaneously.
It’s when you have your baby about to graduate. At the same time you sit in a courtroom to watch your friends officially adopt their 4-year-old foster son. At the same time your job changes a bit (found out I’ll be teaching two classes next year instead of three.)
And your heart has a dream that elbows for attention.
And you’re avoiding the checkbook balance.
And a transformer down the road blows five minutes into Saturday night church. Without lights or sound or plugged-in guitars, we experience an electrifying time with the Lord that leaves us all clapping and smiling.
Overstimulated is how all this left me, and you have to know that as a writer it’s even worse, because I’m trying to process it all, at the same time I feel compelled to get it on paper.
Two surprising actions helped me breathe, in the middle of all this.
The first act was putting hot dogs and hamburgers in buns on Friday night, for the adoption celebration. It was wonderfully simple, and I was being helpful. (I don’t often feel very helpful when it comes to anything kitchen or food.) It was calming to leave my story for a few hours and be a part of someone else’s.
The second act was cutting up strawberries for a meeting my son was having with some other seniors last night.
I washed the strawberries.
Cut the greens off the top.
Sliced them into bites and tossed them in a bowl.
Cutting strawberries was a simple act, but I smiled when I thought about how much the students were going to enjoy those strawberries, especially after I tossed in some huckleberries from the freezer. Even the image of colorful purple hucks against red strawberries made me feel better.
While I sliced strawberries I prayed, and it was a nice time with the Lord.
Recently I was reading this article by Michael Hyatt, entitled What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do. One piece of advice he gave for when we feel overwhelmed: Focus on the next right action.
Helping out with some food? It was the right thing to do.
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23 NIV)
When we do what we know is right, it brings us in close to the Father’s love. And don’t you know that the right thing to do usually isn’t very complicated? I know for sure it made Jesus happy that my friends adopted a little boy, but I also know it made him happy that I served hot dogs for the party.
So if your life is nuts and you’re hyperventilating with the swirling vortex of all that too-good and too-hard mixed up in your mind and your heart, maybe the best advice is for you to just do something today that you know is right.
Send an encouraging note to a friend on Facebook.
Clean something that’s dirty.
Read a book to a little kid.
Feed your family.
And as we do what we know is right, we’ll sense the Father making himself at home inside of us. That’s all we’ve ever really wanted anyway.