Shifting Gears

Do you ever find that there’s something inside that just seems to … shift somehow?  I experienced something like that last night.  It’s like I’ve been a bit frantic.  Not anything crazy or even apparent to most people watching.  There’s just been something in me for a week or so that’s been as if I’d left the motor running.  And then all of the sudden, it stopped.  Or at least calmed down.  I don’t know why, exactly.  The only thing I can think of is that some part of my heart was anxious, frightened of something, and finally last night, that part of myself decided that maybe it was safe after all.  What it was frightened of, I don’t know, and what made it safe, other than perhaps simply not finding anything obviously threatening for a while, I don’t know either.  Yet one way or another, something changed.

It’s a bit subtle, and if I’m in the middle of something, I don’t even notice the difference, but this part of my heart is somehow more calm, more centered and at peace.  I sometimes have trouble only doing one thing at once because some anxious part of me is searching for some other distraction to latch onto, something to sooth itself, but that’s not the case today.  I don’t mind just doing one thing at a time.  And while I do it, whatever it is, the deeper parts of my heart seem to well up a bit.  I can feel some of the things that are deep down that I normally can’t and surely don’t want to experience.  I think that’s a good thing, at least when I have time.

I remember coming back from a long retreat in this state once.  And sometimes I find it happens when I’m in the midst of a very structured, calm, rhythmic, and possibly liturgical setting.  But sometimes, it just seems to happen for no reason at all.  One way or another, regardless of the reason, I’m grateful for it.  I feel, like I said, more centered, and I think the more centered we are in ourselves, the more capable we are of sitting with the Holy Spirit who is also in us.  Richard Foster mentioned “hurry-sickness” in Christianity Today article a while back, noting that our culture seems to be constantly driven and adrenaline soaked.  How can we sit with the Spirit within us if we do not stop?  If we are not able to stop?

I don’t know if I entirely have a robust point, and perhaps I’m simply rambling, but it feels to me like I received something of a blessing last night.  I didn’t do anything I can think of to make it happen, but isn’t that a way God often works – giving gifts that we neither asked for nor even knew we would want?  I pray that we all would find ourselves shifting gears sometimes, more able to sit quietly with our God and to know that we are okay – that we are loved.

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