Learning the unforced rhythms of grace

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Options and Rest

I learned something last night as I watched my dog. She loves bedtime. She is still a puppy so it seems odd that she would get excited about sleeping but as soon as we say, "bedtime", she runs into our room, jumps up onto the bed and stretches out. We transfer her into her crate when we come later. Why? Why would a dog who loves distraction and options and noises and smells and adventure and excitement get so pumped about being confined in her crate at the end of the day?

I think I have an idea. When her options are taken away, she can rest.

Living with chronic pain, I understand this somewhat. Today, the sun is shining,  both kids are gone for the day, the calendar is empty and options are endless. But, I have pain that I cannot find relief from. So, my options are less. I pulled some weeds in the garden, but had to stop sooner than I liked. Everything just takes more time and the day is slipping away.

And yet . . . there is some freedom in living with fewer options. Some friends dropped in spontaneously and I thoroughly enjoyed their visit. I'm able to enjoy this cup of coffee I'm drinking right now without rushing off to do the next task. Perhaps when my family arrives home at the end of the day, I will have rested enough in my soul to be attentive to them and interested in their stories rather than completely focused on my own to-do list.

Will the tasks get done? Yes, eventually.

For today, I'll listen to the advice of the apostle Paul:

"My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving." Colossians 2:6-7

Today, this day, I am thankful for fewer options and the opportunity to experience some rest. Isn't that what summer is supposed to be about? Maybe it's not so bad.