We were running on fumes, the needle on empty, cruising along and ondering whether we would make it home or not. This is where my husband and I found ourselves a few years ago, heading up the highway on our way home from dropping our kids off with my parents. In one of those rare, child free road trips we talked and talked and talked. We talked so much that we hardly noticed our desperate need for gas, or the fact that we had just passed the last station for many miles. Once we realized I began to worry. He remained optimistic. I was biting my nails. He was laughing. I was frantically looking through the owner’s manual to see how many miles we had once the gas light when on. He was saying, “what’s the worst that can happen?”
Lately, my life has left me feeling like I’m running on empty. I’m feeling a bid dried out, and desperately looking for a fill up station. We are almost finished with our school year and I’m finding myself at a burned out place. The last few weeks of school are typically tough for us. But I know that the end is near and so I just keep plugging away, waiting for the end to come.
As I’m frantically looking for the end, I realize that I’m missing the joy before me. It’s oddly reminiscent of that road trip. That trip that almost killed the fun of the journey. By the time I had stopped biting my nails, my husband had reassured me that everything would be okay. That I didn’t need to be so uptight. And he was right. We made it to the next station just fine. But even better than that, we enjoyed ourselves on the way there.
The reminder to enjoy the process is all around me. It is found in a beautiful sunny day, when the forecast was originally for rain. I can see it in the anticipation in my kids’ eyes as they dig in the garden. Life unfolds unexpectedly all around me, whether I notice or not. I can’t stop the hours from running out but I can stop to appreciate them as they slip by. I am surrounded by three eager, if not spunky and rambunctious students. Three lives who are looking to me to set the pace and the tone of these last few weeks of our school year. If we are going to make it to the end and finish well, it will mostly depend on my attitude along the way.
This past Monday we founds moments of bliss on this journey. We painted rocks on the front porch, we walked the dogs, we rode our bikes. And we even got our lessons done. And when I stop to listen, in the midst of all that I can hear the gentle whisper, “I am in all things and I hold all things together.” He holds my beginnings as well as my endings; but even better, he holds my middles. When I’m running on empty, he holds all things together. When I’ve got nothing left to give, he holds all things together. When I am relishing the journey, it is because he is holding all things together.
I sat down today to tell you all about Barbie's and modesty and little girls, but a different story bubbled up. I remembered how I need to rely more on God holding all things together for me. My job isn’t to hold it all together, who can do that anyway? My job is to trust the great holder. That is the only way I can get through the tough days on this journey called life. I’m finding peace on my journey because I do not journey alone. I guess I needed to remind myself of that. Maybe you needed reminding too.