Careful What You Ask For

Not a few times I’ve wondered what on earth I am doing right now, right here.

It feels like I’ve been living in a small pond full of tadpoles and waterbugs. Occasionally I see fellow small fish swimming about or snails creeping through algal masses. I am reaching my third week of summer break and I have a month and a half left before I leave Springfield, MO and start an early fall semester.

What am I doing till then? One despairing thought is that I am doing absolutely nada. I haven’t got a job to speak of, nor does it look like I’ll get hired (it would have to be walking distance too) for the 6 weeks I’m here. Heck, I can’t even volunteer at my church because they require 3 months minimum of commitment. So I’ve been spending my hours in more leisurely pursuits such as reading, watching random movies, drawing, and cleaning, amongst other low-key things -nothing, I can honestly say, that makes me feel progressive in life, with the exception of when I play with our neighbor’s children.

It occurred to me that back in school there were a few times when I felt I was simply unable to progress as quickly as I wanted to. I would get strained by a pile-up of things, none that were so difficult, but enough in quantity for my supremely limited mind to deflate in weariness. This didn’t happen often mind you because my schedules were very manageable(although with a large space for improvement, especially in efficiency). But when it did happen, I had to retreat into a quiet place, apart from the regular quiet times built into my mornings.

What I longed for on a handful of occasion was a retreat. Somewhere I could be in solitude from the community I loved dearly. These longings turned into prayers that now seem like they have been answered, albeit in an unexpected and challenging way. In the suburbs of this half-dying midwestern town, I am beginning to think that this is my chance to have a personal retreat and spend more time meditating in solitude. When I had asked God while I was still in school to allot me a period of escape, I wonder if this right here was his response.

Whatever He’s got planned for me these next weeks I will try to embrace it, the hard and the easy, the happy and the sad, the thrilling and the dull -all of it (and really, I have little to complain about). I hope to be faithful in the little things that I do now so that I can be prepared for whatever is coming next. Meanwhile…

Give thanks to Him in all circumstances!

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