A few years before my mother died, she visited me in Florida. Since someone was driving her, she loaded the car with her most treasured possessions – scrapbooks. Following my father’s death she had spent hours creating thick, heavy scrapbooks from the memorabilia and photos that had survived a score of moves.
At that time, my husband was unemployed and I worked two jobs to meet our financial obligations. I juggled my schedule to make sure Mom met a Haitian pastor she had supported, spent time with her great granddaughter, had a memorable birthday party, met my friends, and visited special places in South Florida. I flipped through her scrapbooks quickly, complimented her on her hard work, but didn’t take time to sit with her and look at faded photos and listen to oft-repeated stories about people I had never met.
Before I knew it, Mom was packing to return home. She didn’t say much about the “special” excursions I had arranged, but did express disappointment that I had not sat with her and looked at the scrapbooks. Now, I look back with regret because I later realized taking time to sit with her, and listen to the scrapbook stories was more important to her than any special outing I could arrange.
In our fast-track lives, we spend a lot of time doing what we think will please God. We sign up for every event at church, look after neighbors that need help, and volunteer for community projects. Although exhausted and sometimes frazzled, we feel good about what we have done for God.
Sometimes, though, I think it might be better to take breaks from “doing” for God. I think God would like for us to sit a while and look at the oft-repeated scriptures and familiar stories of the men and women in the Bible. I wonder how often God looks at us at the end of a day, a month, a year, a lifetime and says, “I was hoping you would take time to sit with me a while and let me show you my living scrapbook. Yes, you’ve heard these stories until you could repeat them, but instead of dashing about trying to please me, why don’t we take time to sit a while and look at my Word.”
Martha Hawn VanCise©2016 www.signpostsonhightrails.com