Some days my calendar keeps me focused and saves me from imminent derailment. It’s a lifesaver! But other days, it is a merciless taskmaster, always demanding more. Too often, just when I think I’ve mastered the art of managing my schedule, I find I’ve forgotten to enter an important event. Other times, I realize I’ve scheduled two significant obligations for the same time. Often I find I’ve simply scheduled too much, and I cannot meet all my obligations.
I might be tempted to think that my schedule and my lack of successful calendar planning has caused me to feel overwhelmed in my life. I might even believe that the best solution would be to empty my schedule—but experience reveals that even in the quiet times, I can feel worn out. It’s not just the outside noise that depletes me; the inward unrest does so as well.
God often reminds me in these overwhelmed moments of a beautiful verse: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
I’ve found that, when I choose to rely on God’s strength, I can experience blessings that might have gone unrecognized if I were relying on my own strength. This lesson was reinforced in my life recently through an unexpected messenger.
My juggling skills were heavily taxed one Saturday in April. I had morning work hours to satisfy, two family commitments to attend that afternoon, and an evening full of Easter preparations to complete. My weekend downtime quickly evolved into a frantic get-me-off-this-crazy-ride rush. I knew I could accomplish everything I needed to because I am quite tenacious, but this time as I completed my mile-long list, I experienced joy and peace along the way. I really cannot take the credit though. I owe any success I experienced that day to God’s whisper, carried to me in a soapy bubble.
I had completed my time at work. I was a bit scattered and running late, but I hopped in the car and raced toward the first family gathering. As I approached my destination, I started rehearsing my mental checklist. It went like this: present in hand, check; purse on my shoulder, check; hair not too crazy, check; oh my, is my lipstick on straight? Phew, check!
Cars for the gathering lined the road, and I had to walk a short distance to get to the house. To successfully maneuver through this day required skill and planning, so as I walked, I calculated my timing for the event. How long could I stay here and still make it to the next event? How long could I stay at the next event and still allow some time to prepare for Easter?
My calculations made no room for fun or enjoyment. No, this was all about completing my mission with precision. I continued down the sidewalk, overwhelmed with mental math until—until a bubble floated by.
If I would have been listening instead of juggling, I would have heard the laughter; I would have felt the excitement. You see, this family event was a birthday party for an adorable two-year-old. Her mind was too new to be filled with schedules and distractions. She was too busy dancing with the bubbles that filled the backyard.
And there it was—a beautiful, perfectly round, iridescent, silent bubble that floated by my nose and pulled me back to the present. In its simplistic, silent way, it reprimanded me for detaching myself from the moment and relying on my own strength. Its gentle wind-dance invited me to no longer feel overwhelmed and come back to the present.
As it brushed by my ear, I heard the message it carried. It was an invitation to give my worries, tasks, and fears to God in exchange for rest—soul rest. I ceased my mental juggling, inhaled deeply, and relaxed into the day.
God often uses the simplest things to communicate His love and care to our hearts.
Because a bubble escaped a backyard celebration and traveled to the front yard sidewalk with an invitation for me from God, I was pulled from my preoccupation with tasks and schedules. As the message of “Come to me, and I will give you rest” was displayed in a delicate, floating orb, I chose to return to the moment my body was occupying. I listened to others; I laughed a lot; I took it all in.
No matter where we are or what we are doing, God desires to give us rest. It is often difficult to explain how God can call to us in simplistic, brief encounters, but for me, a soap bubble will forever serve as a reminder that my schedule is just a schedule, and the ability to enjoy life doesn’t fit into a box on my calendar.
Written by Cherie Shaw
Photo by Jesus Hilario H.