While seasons of chaos and turmoil are normal they can become stressful. Young and old there are things in this world that add stress. Where are we to turn when the stress begins to mount?
Rocking the “Man Purse”A shout out to Traci & Andrea. Here is your OLD friend (yes, I caught the reference, you can call me OLD anytime you want) “rocking his man purse” of chemotherapy.
Maintenance Round ?
I have lost track of what number round of maintenance chemo this was. It was the hardest yet. Monday was chemo day. Tuesday I was full of energy and had a very productive day. Wednesday, I slept the day away. Today, Thursday, I moved as if my mind was in a fog. Next Friday I meet with my oncologist. It is time for one of those conversations where we talk about the tension between prolonging and quality of life. It is close to time, if it is not already time, to take a break from chemotherapy and have an increase in quality of life.
A Season of Chaos
Have you ever been in one of those seasons of life where no matter where you look life seems to be chaotic and out of control? Professionally things seem to be in turmoil. Family is going through significant transitions and everyone is feeling the stress. Last time it rained the roof leaked, in a different spot. I could go on, but you get my point.
Looking for Bambi
Rayann was driving me home tonight when I laughed and said, “You know, this is just about the time for us to hit a deer.” Rayann slowed right down as if there was a deer in the road. I laughed even harder and said, “I do not see anything, but the way life feels right now it would seem appropriate for a couple to deer to jump out, one from each side of the road, and crash into our car.” We had a good laugh the rest of the way home. Rayann was driving slower and looking closer for deer.
Can I Get a Break, Please
I am sure that I am not alone in experiencing seasons such as this. Life is not always easy and there are difficult times. Times where it feels as if nothing is going right. Seasons where you wonder, “when will we/I catch a break.”
It is into seasons such as this that the Spirit of God gently speaks, “I am here.”
A New School Year
A few days ago I had a young visitor in my office. He had moved from JAM Daycare off to a new school and was back to say hello. We talked for a few minutes about his new school. “What is your teacher’s name? Do you have any friends? What are their names? What are you learning?” All the basic kind of stuff a pastor type can ask in a situation like that. In the midst of my questioning he stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “My new school is boring.”
The Statue Speaks
Moments later he noticed a statue I keep in my office. It is a statue of “footprints in the sand.” It was given to me by the priest at St. Catherine of Siena parish, Springfield, MA when they had a much larger version commissioned for their church. I have always treasured the statue and I always keep it in a special place in my office.
My friend leapt out of his chair and went over to the statue, rubbing his hands all over it. “What is this pastor Dan?” “It is Jesus.” “I know that! Who is this here? Who is the person he is carrying?” All the while we talked my friend did not take his eyes nor hands off of the person in Jesus arms.
“Well, that person represents someone who is in a difficult time and needs Jesus’ help. Jesus is carrying him when it got to difficult to walk alone.” “Oh, I like that. Is that what really happens?” “Yes, we all have times when things are difficult, like when school is boring. I will pray that Jesus will carry you until school gets exciting and fun again.”
With that my friend turned their head around and looked straight into my eyes and smiled. Two seconds later they were out of my office and off to find mom or dad and head home for the day.
Today, Tomorrow…in the Future
I thought a lot about my friend the past two days. When chaos reigned, and it felt as if life was out of control. Taking a few moments to stop, be still, and focus on Jesus was a good move. Drawing comfort from the truth that Jesus has carried many others before me, and has the strength to carry me today, tomorrow, and into the future gives me peace.
Knowing that the one who carries me has the power to speak “Be Still” and cause wind and waves cease their crashing gives me hope. When it is time, when all the lessons have been learned and the next season is ready to begin I can be confident that the one who carries me today will be beside me then.