It’s complicated! Nothing is linear. There are no straight paths from here to there. For every turn in the road there is another one ahead going in the opposite direction. If there is a hill to climb, somewhere there is also a valley. Have you ever tried to explain a situation and realized it defies explanation so you settle for “It’s complicated.”
One of my friends asked the question “When you’re a young mom with kids around all the time what do you do to find ‘me’ time?” That’s complicated. It’s been a long time since my days were a menagerie of kid’s activities from sun-up to sundown, but I still remember the secret room. We had a room attached to the side of our aging house that was originally built to cover the well pit. Our freezer was tucked into one corner and the remaining room was shelves constructed out of scrap wood that held jars of home canned food, the result of an acre of garden. In that room there was just enough space to fit an old ragged armchair and lamp. It was the poster child of ugliness but it was my corner of quietness. My husband looked at it skeptically, but you know? This is one thing guys don’t understand. I think when God used one of Adam’s ribs to create woman, Adam didn’t grasp the reality that it was a rib, not part of his brain and women think differently than men. Genesis 2:23 “The Man said, “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from Man.” There is no mention of brain in that passage.
Every morning at 5:00 am you could find me in that little room unraveling the complicated and getting centered for the day. In that room is where I made my plans, wrote lists, read scripture, read books, and poured out my heart to the Lord. I learned, just as you have learned, that life is a contact sport and sometimes it can beat us up. That tiny hollow in side of our house was a place to be silent before the uproar of the day began. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God.” We rarely have silence, our ears and eyes are constantly bombarded with noise or images. Quiet solitude is an anomaly.
Do you remember when devices started showing up that allow customers to sign their names electronically? By now we’ve all experienced that phenomenon. It’s no longer a surprise to be told to sign on the blank screen in front of us. Merchants and banks who have this new and improved device can even cascade advertisements running across the blank screen while customers sign for their purchase. I’m all for advertising. I think the genius who thought of putting framed advertising on the backs of washroom doors was pretty clever. I don’t care if the signature pads present the next big thing offered by the merchant whose product I’m signing for. I care that we are overloaded, overstimulated, over-capacity on the complication factor. I care about finding a way to break away for silence and clear thought.
Life is complicated and becomes even more complicated when we crave time to just be. Not be more, not want more, just be. We need quiet time as much as we need water. When my heart is desperate for quiet, I often turn to Psalms. We think of David lounging around out in an open field with nothing bothering him but a few nuzzling lambs. That’s the wrong concept, because we know David’s life from the grueling work of a shepherd to the victim of Saul’s vengeance, was anything but carefree and easy. David’s life was complicated. But somehow, David turned his complicated life into creative sonnets. David had the right idea: “I hang on to these words for dear life! These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me.” Psalm 119:49
From the Message translation, I hope these few verses bring peace to your overloaded, overstimulated, over-capacity, complicated heart today, Psalm 119:9-16 “How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt. Be blessed, God; train me in your ways of wise living. I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you; I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I love everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it.”