The Tea Party
I had a tea party with my soon to be four year old granddaughter yesterday. As I teetered on the much too small plastic chairs sipping “delicious” air from china cups and eating plastic peas and chicken legs, my granddaughter proceeded to tell me about her day at school.
“I skinned my knee at recess, fell off my chair, threw up (apparently there is a lot of stomach flu going around the last few weeks) and broke all my crayons.” She took a sip of air from her tea cup and a bite of her plastic chicken leg and calmly asked me “So what did you do today?”
The smile on her face let me know she had made all that up so I decided to play along. I got to thinking, what could I tell her I did today that would be as funny? Immediately I thought of not what I had done physically that day but mentally. And I started the litany. It isn’t so funny.
“Well I procrastinated for a while, then I catastrophized briefly, worried for a couple hours and then ‘should’ myself to death.” (If you don’t know what that is, it’s when you repeatedly say to yourself “I should have done better, I should have not said that, I should have thought of that,” etc.).
She smiled; we clinked our toy teacups and said “cheers!”
She had no clue what I just said, thankfully. They were just funny words to her. It was sobering to me. Oh, to be almost four again. Rather than living in worry, anxiety, self-criticism, hyper vigilance, or guilt, living in the moment with curiosity, acceptance, trust, and lightheartedness!
That is how God wants us to spend our days. Trusting in His ever-present care and never ending, incomprehensible love. We have to keep reminding ourselves that it is there for us always. And be open to how and where He is going to remind us. Like at a tea party.
This habit of reminding ourselves is a discipline, like exercising or eating right. It takes spiritual discipline for God’s care and love to become our default setting. To become the first place we go in our thoughts when we are tempted by negative, self destructive, peace stealing thought patterns.
I am better than I used to be but still fall into this trap more often than I would like.
Well Time is a new series at Firstfruits on Wednesday mornings. Week one we talked about stress, anxiety, and worry. Week two was about the discipline it takes to care for ourselves spiritually as well as physically, emotionally, and mentally. At both sessions the conversation proved that I am not alone in this. And what comfort and hope that brought.
I hope you’ll think about joining us at the well sometime. You never know what God might have waiting for you. He reaches out to us in simple, unsuspecting places, sometimes with plastic peas and chicken legs!