Beds folded up in the middle and spit out the occupant, food rolled out of a machine in the wall, hot and ready to eat, space cars zoomed in out of midair traffic jams, and a robot named Rosie completed all the household chores, such as they were.
There was the loveable oversized dog, Astro, who "talked" in a barking kind of way. Every morning, Astro had to be taken for a walk. Of course in this futurist world one would not simply take his dog to the park, he would walk on a treadmill right outside his apartment. High above the city, man and dog took their morning walk, and the results were always the same.
The treadmill would somehow spurt into a ridiculous speed that was impossible for George to keep up with. So, at the beginning of each episode there he was, dangling off the end of the treadmill, high in the air holding on the dog’s leash screaming for Jane to rescue him. The dog of course was trotting merrily along and we somehow found humor in the fact that not only was Astro enjoying his run, he was taking pleasure in the fact that George was NOT enjoying the trip.
One was left to wonder why George didn’t learn from his mistakes and change his routine to prevent this seemingly life threatening experience. Someone once said that doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity. That may be true. However, I must confess that there have been many times in my life that I have been George; repeating a process and praying for a different result.
Modern technology has changed our lives. Hanging laundry on the line, washing dishes by hand, or spending a full day preparing a meal are now things of the past - parts of the story of our grandmothers. Our stories are tales of hurry. Like George; we take on more than we can handle, and wonder why we find ourselves simply holding on for dear life. The sad part is we are all on the same treadmill... but, there is no "Jane’s" to rescue us.
Is this lifestyle good for us? Doctors have now determined that women who are always in a hurry suffer from depression and health issues many times more than their non hurried counterparts. One cannot live in crisis mode 24/7 and not burn out. But we already knew that, right? Is there an answer? Are we, the women of the new millennium, doomed to a life of treadmill experiences? I don’t think so.
I believe that key to having a full yet non-overwhelming life rests in our hands. If we are the captains of our own ships, then we need to grab the wheel and steer!
Psalms 46:10 shares a powerful message to all of us. It says, "Be still and know that I am God." I must confess that I do fairly well with the second part of this verse. I am fully aware of God and his magnificent power. However, it is the first part of the verse that I truly struggle to achieve. "Be still." What does it mean?
I believe that each of us needs time to reflect on God’s glory and realize that we are not the movers of the universe. The world will NOT stop turning if we took some time off. The things that we were killing ourselves to do would either be accomplished, or maybe done without. Either way, it would be okay.
Now, I can hear the collective gasps of all of you type A personalities out there. To somehow suggest that life would be okay without our list and schedules is nothing short of blasphemy! However, before you get the tar and feathers, let me explain. In 1999 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. For a full year my life revolved around survival. All of the things that I had spent years doing now fell to my children and my husband. Guess what? They did okay.
That’s not to say that they did it the way that I would have done it, but it got done. Oh, there were a few things left undone, but that was okay, too. Through that trial I learned to let go. I learned that the ones that I love need me very much, but they are stronger, more resilient that I ever imagined. I learned that if I needed to take time for me it is okay, they will be fine.
All of us need to be still. It is not something that we do very well, but it could be the difference between making it to the finish line and collapsing along the way. We must allow, no…demand time for ourselves. Those whom we love need us and love us, but they do not always realize the sacrifices we make just being wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends.
It is imperative that we find a way to find quiet time with God. This accomplishes two things. First, we can relax and realize that we are not in control, God is. He is the master of our lives and He will take care of everything. Second, it renews our strength. Sound familiar? For some of this the goal of being still can be accomplished on a day to day basis. We find time to study the Bible and pray. For others, our life’s demands are such that the only way to spend time with God is to get away from our obligations for a brief period of time.
A retreat can be a wonderful way to accomplish some still time with God. Although the time will be short, the benefits can last much longer. For a few brief hours we are not "in charge." Our focus is not on doing, but rather on being; being a child of God, being aware of His blessings, being renewed and restored. In other words…”Being still and knowing that He is God.”
George Jetson may have been funny to watch as he struggled to keep up on the treadmill of life. However, a woman struggling for footing is anything but humorous. “Be still and know that I am God.”… Not just a verse, a life’s mission.