August 5, 2013

come away by yourself

The metallic turquoise bedspread beneath me could tell you a lot about me. The illustrated peacock on the wall could do the same. The dusty, swishing fan above would also oblige. These companions of mine were spectators to my first three months in Asia. Oh, what stories they could tell.

In this room, I made messes and I sorted them. I stayed up far too late blogging. I bawled like a baby and hardly knew why. I made mistakes. I worried and prayed. And sometimes, I trusted in Him. If the bedspread, the peacock and the fan could speak, they would tell you all about it.

Now I've been eight months in Asia, and I still do the same activities, except in a different room. In the apartment I share with local friends.

But tonight I am back under the peacock's gaze because sometimes, I need a break from my current room. To give a little quiet to my head and space to my mind.

"And He said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.' (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)" Sometimes I feel that is me, that person who does not have time to eat what my soul needs.

Well, technically, I have the time, but—there's a knock on my bedroom door. A loud phone call in another room. Some lively music. Another knock on the door, a text, another text, a request, "Can I borrow some money?" and "Would you watch the maid, I'm leaving?" and "Let's go see a movie at 11pm" and the doorbell just rang twice and "We need to have the neighbours over and which dish will you be making?" and "I have an errand to run, can you please come with me?"—sometimes it seems never-ending.

They mean well. They just don't know that my soul needs still Water. Long drinks. Quiet pastures. Nor do they know what it is to have a relationship with Him that is thirst-quenching. So, in our house, we are all thirsty. Except I know where the watering hole is (though some days, in the ruckus, I lose sight of it, too, and go long stretches without a good drink).

Oswald Chambers reminded me today of why I need a place to rest and time to eat and drinkbecause my relationship with Him is of utmost importance.
"As Chr!stians we are not here for our own purpose at all—we are here for the purpose of God, and the two are not the same. We do not know what God’s compelling purpose is, but whatever happens, we must maintain our relationship with Him. We must never allow anything to damage our relationship with God, but if something does damage it, we must take the time to make it right again. The most important aspect of Chr!stianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the surrounding influence and qualities produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to give our attention to, and it is the one thing that is continually under attack."
Maybe someday, I'll have an apartment of my own. Maybe someday, I'll be in a position to take quiet trips away by myself to regain my strength. Maybe someday, I won't need to use my coworkers' guestroom as my quiet place. But for now, it is a calm space to which I can "come away." It's good for me, and it's good for everyone I relate to. Whether they understand that or not.

If someday I have ample quiet moments, as I have in past seasons, I know I'll struggle to maintain my relationship with Him then, too, because "it is the one thing that is continually under attack." And maybe I'll long for the days when a good conversation or helpful cultural advice was so easily accessible. But for tonight, I'm glad I simply came away and rested a while in the room with the familiar bedspread, peacock and fan. And, I've done it again: stayed up far too late blogging.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this post. And I am thankful to have this relationship with God that is thirst-quenching. This world is so very dusty sometimes!

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