She is a wise woman if she also remembers that these material objects of the season which she sets out are beautiful and worthy carriers of what is holy. But they are not God. She can prepare and put forth a form to catch something of the spirit, but she cannot also go ahead and supply the spirit.… Prepare, organize, plan, shore up, make firm, but remain open to the unexpected; do not seal out the spirit and do not think you can provide it.Trying to supply the spirit manifests itself in bossy behaviors rather than in wise leadership.
Gertrud Mueller Nelson, To Dance with God
Even though this quote is from a section of the noted book on Christmas celebrations, I think it is nonetheless good advice for everyday life. When I fill every moment of my life with stuff to do, places to go and people to see I leave no room for the unexpected. I leave no room for God to work His beautiful blessings into my life and spirit. And without those blessings my life is very poor and dull.
Being too busy has more than just a negative effect on me. It makes me crabby, angry and tearful. I lose whatever grace God has generously offered me and become a mean person.
Filling my life with things to do means I don’t see the blessings of my furbabies – all I see are the endless dog walks and litter boxes that need cleaning. I see nothing but endless plates of food to prepare and water bowls to fill. I see yet one more hairball hacked up and one more accident to clean up. And it makes me frustrated.
Overworking and over stuffing my life means I am grumpy with the human loved ones in my life and am selfishly unwilling to meet their needs and if I do I do so grudgingly and with a lot of noise. No space, no grace.
I have to make a conscious effort to loosen the reins a bit, let go of control, not overfill my day and make room for God. Sometimes it means saying no to something; or it may mean sleeping all day; or taking a step back internally and praying for guidance; or it may mean simply stopping, taking a deep breath and breathe out a prayer or blessing for someone else.
She is a wise woman and he is a wise man who makes room for God in their everyday lives. We all will be the better for it and the people (or furbabies) in our lives will be blessed as well.