Petty Disappointments

It’s been one of those days. You’ve had them, haven’t you? Where plans falter?

I won’t be doing the triathlon this year, though I feel ready. I can easily swim the 1/2 mile. I’m much, much better on the bike than I was a few years ago when I did it last, and my running has improved tremendously. But alas, I have some sort of injury on my left arm that has sidelined me. The doctor said no. Absolutely no. We’ll know more about what it is in a few days.

And Julia may need her cute, inflamed tonsils out. We’ll know in a few days about that, too.

And I received some frustrating publishing news.

All this in the span of fifteen minutes. No triathlon. No tonsils. No easy publishing answers.

And yet, I’m re-reading The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. They speak of fully engaging in life and the importance of rest and refueling. The doctor said something about the cure for this arm injury being “complete rest.” Well. Okay then.

The truth is, I can’t remember rest. Not really. Yes, we have done a fair job of resting on Sundays, but over the past seven years (seminary plus France), we have lived a crazy pace. Lots of spiritual warfare. Lots of team conflict on the mission field. Not much time together in seminary. Financial stress (what missionary has not felt that?). Difficulties in school for our children. Then reintegrating into this weird world called America. Stress, stress, stress.

So maybe slowing down is good, though my fear is if I get off this stress treadmill, I may just fall apart! Cry rivers! The weight of the past few years might just crush me. Then I remember this:

“A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice” (Isaiah 42:3).

I cling to that verse, to the God who Sees, the God of Justice, the God who doesn’t break us in half, the God who keeps our light on when our hearts merely flicker. I cling to Him, even when I feel small and needy and weepy.

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