A couple of weeks ago, I left all my kids home with Ryan and got a massage.
Okay, so, it was in a dentist’s chair. But since their chairs are fancy Brookstone massage chairs, I’m gonna call it a spa day.
Your molars show a lot of wear, she said. You clench your teeth a lot. Relax.
And since then, I’ve realized how often I’m chomping down. Relax. So many times a day — RELAX.
But my soul — it’s the same. A constant state of tension, waiting for it all to fall apart, feeling like it’s held together by a thread, a thread I have to keep tense, or it’s all over. We fall to chaos. I notice my clenched teeth, and I relax. I notice my clenched soul — but how do I relax? How do I dare to let go?
We sang that in church a few days later, and I realized the clenched teeth and the clenched soul — it’s a worship problem, ultimately.
Sometimes I’m hurrying to get us all ready to go somewhere, and Ryan will call me. Come look at how cute the baby is, or come read this email I’m trying to send, or just come and say hi for a minute. And I think, I can’t!! I can’t stop, or this will never get done. You don’t understand. I just can’t. But over the years, I’ve tried to learn to just pause and come.
And that’s part of how the Holy Spirit illuminates this worship problem.
Come to Me, I want to speak. Come to Me, I want you to rest. Come to Me, I can show you how.
And my soul screams, No! You don’t understand! I can’t come right now, or the food will never be ready and our house will never be tidy and these kids will never be dressed and don’t You see that it all falls apart faster than I can hold it together?
Worship, but not the kind I want.
I make a list of the things I love:
Peace. Order. Faithfulness. Work. Calm. Beauty.
Sweet things, things that clearly are of God, created and exemplified by Him. But when any of those are on the throne of my heart, ruling my moments and my spirit, the fruit looks more like fret and frenzy and less like order and beauty. Ironic, yes?
Only You Lord.