It was the kind of day I hate. I need plans, order, schedules. Control, you might say. From the moment I opened my eyes, reached for my phone to check the time and found a text requesting my assistance in just an hour, my day was a mess. I didn’t have time to ease into my morning, no hot coffee and quiet reflection. Rush, run, squeeze. It didn’t help that venturing downstairs led to the indications of very sick dogs all over my floors. What little time I had before heading over to Mama’s to get my Plum ready for school and on the bus was spent scrubbing, moping, awakening to the knowledge we had entered into the vet zone, a costly area I didn’t want to visit a week before Christmas or really ever when it wasn’t for well checks. No time for coffee, I got into my frozen car and set out to meet my pajama clad Plum. A very pregnant Mama had a list for me: shower the boy, take the dog out, drop medicine off at school. Nothing too taxing except I still had no coffee and I wanted a restart on my day. I wanted to offer services not be told. Cranky. Not very giving. Ugly a.m. attitude, worse than morning breath. I pushed through and every task was crossed off my list only to return home to find more mopping was necessary. Vet appointment made. On to my small group with faith filled women who listen.
We talked, I tried to complete some tasks but was drawn into the rhythms of the voices, I let go into the moment. The “moment” only lasted for the hour and a half we met, back to reality. I called Chef who was out of town, I wanted him to come rescue my day, save me from the anxiety of too much. I kept that to myself, I rarely tell him when my heart is longing for his presence. I know I can’t have him near just because I cannot face what is looking back at me, I dig deeper and find my own strength. More coffee, on to the vet. I complain loudly about my beasts but felt maybe history was repeating, maybe I was losing one or both just like New Year’s Day just a few years ago when my black lab suddenly got sick and then was gone. This vet understood my anxiety and assured me some medication and a bland diet for 3 days would turn these guys around, she was confident we weren’t dealing with cancer and didn’t see the need for extra tests to confirm her diagnosis. They helped me load the boys back into the car, I didn’t fall on any ice trying to corral 200 lbs of beast. My heart felt lighter even if my wallet was crying.
Back home I tried to start my day again, get my home in order for a boy getting off the bus in just an hour. I needed more emotional time but that was no where on the agenda. I made cookies instead because coming to gran’s house requires the smell of baking and something warm from the oven. This I could control. My boy rushed in to tell me the biggest event of his day, not that the teacher had given him a gift, still wrapped in his backpack. He told of a child in his class who ran into a pole and got a nose bleed. My Plum said he began to pray. He climbed under a desk and talked to God.
Boom. There was the fix I had been seeking all day. If I had just paused before I had even reached for my phone and given the day to God, if I had reacted to the first text with a plea to guide my day, if I had searched for God in the moment instead of my own comfort, what would it have felt like? What would I have felt? My Plum said after he prayed he stood up and asked his classmates if anyone else was praying. Three other children raised their hands. This child is absolutely bold. When faced with a scary situation, one he couldn’t control and his teachers couldn’t either, He sought God. He trusted that his Heavenly Father would sort it all out. He didn’t ask if it was okay to pray in school, he didn’t ask if the child wanted prayers. He reacted based on his soul, he listened to the nudge from the Holy Spirit and followed what he knew to be true: when in need, pray.
As we finished setting up our plates for dinner, he asked if we might say another prayer for his friend. He began. His words could heal the world, not just a bloody nose. They heal a gran. Praying can be a habit, as critical to my day as that first cup of coffee or the satisfaction of compiling my list. I need those actions to get me centered otherwise I am off, I get anxious and cranky and unpleasant to be around. I pray at night before falling asleep, I pray in times of trouble or when friends are experiencing distress. I seek God when an email comes across regarding a specific need or my newsfeed alerts me to a global catastrophe. My praying habits are well established just as my morning rituals are ingrained. I wonder if I could somehow make my phone send me a message each morning to remind me to begin my day seeking out God before I search for the coffee beans. I know without an intentional break in my pattern, I will keep forgetting to give God that territory first thing, just as I forget to take vitamins. I know it is in my best interest, I just haven’t added this into my coveted predawn turf. My Plum has me thinking though. How different could my life as a Christian be if I started out with Christ, dropped to my knees regardless of my surroundings or asked others to join me when I was afraid?
I have learned I need coffee as soon as I get up. I have learned I need to make a list for my day, create order. I am learning I could probably do away with all of the ways I try to establish control if I just gave up some soul time with the One who woke and handed me the day. Maddening how much I have to learn still, how much I fight to be in charge. Ridiculous that instead of leaning on God when I know my Chef can’t be near, I double down and congratulate myself on my own power. Like the coffee that I warm and warm again, never as satisfying as the first sip, without changing my prayer habits I am never going to find my day fulfilling. Thank God I have a six year old teacher to give me lessons so often. It is up to me pay attention and make adjustments. I hope there is an app for that. What if my coffeemaker came with a prayer reminder: please insert beans, add water, push grind, now pray. Absurd maybe, but I need help changing my ways.