Lately I’ve found myself somewhat paralyzed when people ask me the simplest of questions:
“How’s it going?”
I find myself reacting with a long pause, filtering through the first things that come to mind, and struggling to find the words to respond. For some people, it’s a superficial, “fine, how about you?” For others whom I know more deeply, I might go into a little more detail about Jonathan’s status in school or how I’m happy to finally be getting back into some kind of routine now that my youth/children are back in school. But for people whom I rarely see or for whom I barely know, the question is difficult to navigate. Or for people I know super well, it becomes a therapy session attempting to solve all life’s problems.
There’s nothing necessarily going *wrong* with my life; things are just…layered. There’s Jonathan, the dogs, our always-dirty house/laundry/dishes, my ordination process, my ministry inside and outside the church, our car which seems to always need attention, my family, Jonathan’s family, the weather, health issues, simple frustrations and deeply embedded ideas/values that are constantly being challenged and reformed. It seems like there are more changes than constants in our lives right now and so to stop and consider “how [any of] it is going” is so disruptive.
Jonathan recently submitted a paper to a national conference on Sabbath and one of his musings on it is how Sabbath is disruptive. It requires that we get off the rat wheel and suspend production. I think of the hymns “Be Still, My Soul” and “Breathe on me, Breath of God,” as they calm my spirit and lead me to simply be in the presence of God.
“How’s it going?”
It reminds me of when I was super stressed and over-scheduled in college, and someone would ask me something like, “what do you like to do for fun?” Such a simple question…that I could not answer, because I was too busy DOing that I had not stopped to consider what, if any of it, I actually enjoyed.
Lately I suppose I’ve been just pushing whatever I can aside so I can deal with whatever demands my immediate attention. That’s “living in the moment,” not procrastinating, right? Surviving through this crazy season of constant change and uncertainty.
As I look out my office windows I see leaves dancing in the wind, changing colors, falling to the ground. Perhaps Fall is the best time of year because it reminds us that is okay to let go, to be disrupted.
God of the color-changing leaves, draw me close to you, that I, too may be transformed and made new.