when a groove is not the same as a rut

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The chief beauty about time// is that you cannot waste it in advance//
The next year, the next day, the next hours are lying ready for you,//
as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied//
a single moment in all your life//
You can turn over a new leaf every hour// if you choose.
//Arnold Bennett//

Somehow I have misplaced a full month of writing in this place.

I could easily explain the days and weeks away by saying I didn’t have time.

Getting used to the structure of work and dealing with several bouts of lingering

illness caused me to live my days in survival mode.

But in my absence, I have been reflecting on time.

Most mornings, I jump in my car and race down the freeway towards my

place of employment.

I have determined the amount of time I need to get from point a to point b.

Yet there are days when my car’s speed is quickly halted.

My steering wheel grip tightens and I glance at the clock.

Despite my best efforts, I have no control of what the lanes ahead will reveal.

A car crash may have occurred or a stalled car.

There could be a police car in view creating a renewed desire for drivers

to adhere to the rules of the road.

Often there is no other reason than many cars traveling at the same time.

No matter how much I wish, I can’t make the traffic move quicker although I would

like to believe my whispered prayers are mighty effective when the

revolutions of my wheels increase.

Mention traffic, weather or time in conversation and there is never

a shortage of opinions or more likely rolled eyes and sighs.

All three happen without our control.

Time has felt akin to traveling in a car with varying traffic patterns.

It seems no matter how I plan, time evaporates like being thrust

into a traffic jam, unable to change directions.

I wasted a lot of time talking about how little time I now had to

do all the things usually in my days.

This constant rehearsing created unease in my mind and in

my heart.

Mondays began with the renewed awareness of another week with

no time to spare.

This mindset was completely life draining and joy emptying

because I was consumed with my lack of resources.

Especially because I really like my job and the people I am

blessed to work with.

My days and time have simply been rearranged.

Then one morning, everything shifted as I was driving along.

I slammed on the brakes and the glare of red tail lights lit

up as far as I could see.

I didn’t sigh.

I didn’t look hurriedly at my clock.

I simply let my car idle

knowing it wouldn’t be motionless forever.

Forward movement resumed and I arrived

to my desk on time.

Week by week, I am learning a new groove.

15 minutes of book reading in the evening can be just

as satisfying as an hour.

Not having a week’s worth of meals planned

is not a crisis.

I begun to play around with how to have meaningful

devotions in the morning.

This had been the area which created the deepest

feelings of mourning.

I had felt very lonesome for time with myย Father.

But slowly a rhythm has emerged and it has satisfied my longings.

Perhaps this week there will be a space for exercise.

And maybe my body clock will eventually awake earlier…maybe.

Hopefully the confetti thoughts wafting around my brain

will find their way to a journal or this blog from time to time.

You see a groove is not as deep as a rut.

A groove is the beginning of a pattern, a routine.

A rut is defined as a track worn by a wheel or by habitual passage.

A rut equals the deepening of a groove.

With every trip down the road, my groove

will gain depth and more familiarity.

Time may have changed dimensions but

doesn’t mean forfeited joy.

So what do you hear yourself rehearsing each week?

Is it something you fear is in short supply and has no

prospect of recovery?

Perhaps it’s time to cease clenching your

fists as you attempt to hold something you were

never designed to control.

Open wide your hands,

your heart

and your mind

and revel in how you can

best use what remains.

Take a deep breath

and let your car idle

until a new path

opens before you.

Then my friends,

travel the road

with freedom

and great joy

as you create deep

lasting ruts.

 

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10 thoughts on “when a groove is not the same as a rut

  1. Beautiful post, and very timely too! I was just telling my mom last night about how I’m trying to hang on and control all these things that I really can’t.

    I found your blog through your dad. My husband and I are longtime friends of theirs through Pullman Pres.

    Like

  2. jodyo70 says:

    Helen, you have mined the very best of words as you travel the freeway and the roads of this new normal life you have now. This line especially spoke to me, “Time may have changed dimensions but doesnโ€™t mean forfeited joy.”
    The last year in particular has been nothing like the one before–the chunks of time have vanished and my snatches of God’s presence have been smaller but more frequent.
    But the joy is still there.

    May God continue to make you well, in body mind and spirit. Love you, sister.

    Like

  3. Karen L. says:

    Hey Helen,
    Love this. Timely yes. I feel like life has been going at warp speed since the holidays… wasn’t that just last week? NO, it’s like 4-5 months later! Yikes!

    I loved the “time may have changed dimensions but doesn’t mean forfeited joy” quote as well. Snatches of God-time. OR, some days more than others… but I get to decide that the joy I experience with God is enough… to be out of the “not enough” frame of mind… yes, time for a new frame. ahhhhhh.

    Love you and appreciate you sharing your journey as your journey changes directions, but with the same Lord by your side. Nice.
    Karen

    Like

  4. Kayla,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog
    and to leave a message. I know I have met you before.
    After visiting your blog and seeing your photo, I feel
    certain. So fabulous to see the line-up of books you
    have written. Well done!

    ~Helen

    Like

  5. Sweet Jody,
    You radiate such joy. So glad our paths crossed and you
    blessed me and so many by your servant’s heart.
    So glad you feel the deep abiding joy always.
    Much love!

    ~Helen

    Like

  6. Karen,
    So glad to share here in the blog with you and also to do it across
    from one another at a table. If we think about how long we have
    known one another, life has changed as does what our time looks like.
    Keep grabbing for the joy of the Lord!
    Love ya!

    ~Helen

    Like

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