I had a plan for this Saturday. I was going to go to my first class at a yoga studio in town with a friend. I was going to catch up on my housework. I was going to work on a new blog I’m planning on launching.
Yeah. None of that happened.
I woke up to an urgent email from work, with a project that needed to get completed today. My friend wasn’t able to go with me to yoga. When I got to the yoga studio, there was no class, no sign, and no one to explain why there was no class when according to their website, there should have been.
This is roughly about the time the anger hit–although truth to tell, it had been brewing all week.
I sat in my car, stressed and steaming for a minute. I could go to my office and work on the project–just surrender and accept that what I wanted didn’t seem to matter today. Grrrr….
Or I could do something else. Since self-pity and resentment didn’t seem like the best recipe for good creative thinking, I decided to go to a new coffee shop I’d been meaning to visit for a while.
The coffee shop (Quills on Bardstown Road, in case you’re wondering) turned out to be way nicer than anticipated. I grabbed a decaf Americano and later a tea service, popped open Rosita (my pink Asus Eee) and spent the hour knocking out the project while listening to Stevie Wonder singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
It wasn’t what I had planned. It was probably way better.
With work behind me, I opened my copy of The Message and landed on this passage in Zechariah:
I looked up and was surprised to see
a man holding a tape measure in his hand.
I said, “What are you up to?”
“I’m on my way,” he said, “to survey Jerusalem,
to measure its width and length.”
Just then the Messenger-Angel on his way out
met another angel coming in and said,
“Run! Tell the Surveyor, ‘Jerusalem will burst its walls—
bursting with people, bursting with animals.
And I’ll be right there with her’—God’s Decree—’a wall of fire
around unwalled Jerusalem and a radiant presence within.'”
The last sentence of that passage jumped out at me. “I’ll be right there with you, a wall of fire around an unwalled you and a radiant presence within.” I pondered that a minute and then gathered my stuff to walk over and grab some lunch at O’Shea’s.
As I waited for my salad, Tom Petty starting singing over the loudspeaker. “Gonna stand my ground, won’t get pushed around. And I’ll keep this world from dragging me down, ‘cuz I won’t back down.”
This week, I’ve failed to keep my promise to myself to nurture my soul. I haven’t made time and space for writing, prayer, Bible study and yoga. I’ve learned that these things help me clear the decks of the assorted psychic crud that build up in my body and mind.
I didn’t stand my ground, and I totally let myself get pushed around.
Not surprisingly, I got dragged down to responding like the world–with a form of painfully ineffective self-protection that builds walls of resentment and has no room for the grace of the unexpected.
I want to be that city from Zechariah’s vision–so full of life spilling over that you can’t measure her borders, so filled with God’s presence that she doesn’t need useless stone walls for protection.
But I won’t get there if I don’t do my part–and my part is not backing down when it comes to consistently, daily making the time and space for it to happen.