Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Lull

Lull. The very word is soothing, isn't it? And I love its association with stillness or respite. It conjures up an image in my mind of a time of refreshing, like an oasis in the desert.

It has been slow in my workplace this week. I commented to my direct supervisor today that we are either experiencing the proverbial calm before the storm, or I have missed something really big! His words were so reassuring: "It's the calm. Enjoy the lull."

What does this look like in the office? For me, it looks like arriving before the lights have been turned on and brewing the coffee. I pull a stack of coffee filters so it's easy for people to grab one at a time, and spend some time with my Bible while my e-mails load. I invite Jesus to walk through this day with me. Slow, easy starts to days that are steady, but not driving busy.

The busy days are coming. In a matter of weeks, there will be hundreds of registrations and warranty claims demanding my attention. Phones will ring off the hook, meetings will require attendance, and my daily devotional e-mails will be buried under hundreds of messages that may appear more important. I will struggle to find my balance some days. Until then ... enjoy the lull.

Confession: I wrote the above paragraphs a week or so ago. I was going to talk about how life in general was also on pause in my world. I would have told you that my word for 2018, "Refresh," has really summed up the first two months of the year for me. Winter is a season of hibernation, but a season nonetheless; I have found myself in a season of stillness. Sometimes the most refreshing thing we can do is to rest.

Today, though, the lull is over. In speaking to God aloud a couple of weeks ago, I thanked Him for the pause. I recognized my tendency to worry so much about what's coming next that I neglect to enjoy the moment. I apologized, and praised God for the fact that no matter what's coming, I do not face it alone. Then came the storm - both physically and virtually.

We had known the snowstorm was coming. It was a rare weekend where no travel was required, so I took full advantage of the opportunity to spend a whole Saturday in my pajamas with a book. It's easy not to worry about impressions when nobody is moving. A good storm can be anticipated in this part of the country, where you are required to drive for everything except your mail. Snowplows are a commodity reserved for parts further north, so a good storm can halt traffic for days at a time here.

Saturday, though, came and went without a single flake falling. Sunday morning arrived with light drizzle, but salt trucks were already on the highway as I drove to church. By the time I headed home, the commute was a challenge best met by restrained speed and whispered prayers. Still, it was early evening when the skies opened and the house across the street from ours seemingly disappeared.

Internally, I made no connection of how fitting it would be for physical and emotional storms to collide. So it was that I was blindsided. First by the letter in the mailbox, dated an entire year ago. Then by the letter in a social media inbox, advising me to have my Goodbye talk with my dad. Then by the discovery of a social media account under an alias name, belonging to someone who once meant everything to me. It has called me to question everything I thought I knew, and has cast a huge question mark over the future.

I am so grateful for the peace that passes all understanding! I am grateful that no matter what happens in coming days, I do not face this storm alone. Mostly, I am grateful for the lull. There is always a time of rest: a time to gather and restore strength. I will need another one when this time of turbulence has passed; how grateful I am to know that God's vision and His plans for me far exceed my own!
How blessed I am to have spent my time in the hallway, the lull, praising Him! This, too, shall pass. It's just another test becoming a testimony.

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