Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Learning to Rest Part II

I was on the sand, stretched in the sun, when I heard the voices of two of my men.

"What do you think she'll say?" Samuel asked from behind me.

"She'll want you to have the experience," said my husband-man.

I'd just gotten used to Samuel swimming in the deep. Now I knew that something else, something bigger, was about to go down.

Lonny and Sam stepped in front of my towel and I sat and shielded my eyes. Maybe from the sun. Maybe from the impending adventure.

"Scuba lessons," Samuel said. "Mom, can you believe that they're offering a scuba lesson? Right here at the park. Today."

The "they" was a Michigan DNR and a local dive club. And my two bigger boys, previously sprawled on towels beside me, now sat and listened, too. I looked at the hopeful, born-to-be-wild faces of my sons. I was way out numbered. And I didn't want to be left behind.

"Okay," I said. "But if you're all going, I want to go, too."

Lonny's eyes went round and wide. Sam jumped in the air. The two big guys grinned.

And I wondered what I'd done.

I get like that sometimes. I want to be cool. I want to be adventurous. I want to be athletic. I want to keep up with my sons.

Never mind that just the thought of sucking canned air through a tube made me turn half blue.

But I wanted to join the adventure.So we split into two groups (someone had to watch the small boys). Sat on benches and took the class. Suited up. And headed for the lake.

I don't want to do this I thought as we waded into the water. Fear lapped at my heart though the water was only knee deep.

I'm comfortable in the water. I swim well. But something about having that equipment strapped to my back, something about talk of decompressing, something about sitting on the sand, on the bottom of that beautiful lake, breathing in and out, made me just come unglued.

"I'm heading back," I said after we'd gone under twice - in the shallows. It was either that or break my sanity seams. "I'm turning my flippers in."

My sons nodded. One winked at me through his foggy glass mask. An instructor walked me to shore.

And I peeled off the wetsuit and wondered why I push so hard.

I think that it's my season for learning about rest. I think that sometimes rest couples contentment. One follows the other on a sweet, short lead. If I'm content, with where I'm at, with who I am, with what I have, I can find sweet rest.

It's a rest of the spirit. It's a quieting of the soul. It's an allowance to be still, to let go, to stretch in the already-have blessing like one stretches and soaks in the sun.

I found my place on the beach. My towel was sun-kissed and warm. I sat and watched little boys fill buckets and shovel sand and laugh into the breeze.

They were content. They were happy. Their hearts were enjoying the blessing of rest.

I peered across the water, to the place where a line of blue told me the water had gone deep. A red flag floated on a tube. The boys were under.

And I was happy.

I was happy for them. I was happy for me.

I knew that when they surfaced, my boys would come ashore and share the adventure. I'd see the joy and passion and excitement in their eyes. I'd almost see what they had seen. I'd almost feel what they had felt.

And I suspected, now,  that this would be good enough for me.

Because I was learning the comfort of contentment, and in it I was beginning to find rest.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me new ways to rest...


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