The earth spins roughly 1,000 miles per hour. (Don't think I knew that- I had to google it.) I knew it spun fast but not that fast. But some days, it does feel like the earth, like life is spinning at 1,000 miles an hour and I'm panting and exhausted by the end of the day because I've tried to keep up. But there are sweet moments in the day when it feels as if God has hit the pause button. I know the world continues to spin and life is rushing past, but for a moment, God puts His giant, cracked hand on my head and whispers, "wait." And if I listen, if I stop in my tracks and just let myself BE in the moment, I am richly rewarded. I am rewarded with an outpouring of His peace. It feels as if I'm an empty cup and His sweet goodness is poured into me. But only when I stop and pause. In these quiet moments, a smile inevitably spreads across my face, a tear typically trickles, a grateful giggle escapes.
I've started looking for these moments, expecting them, yearning for them. They don't come every day but I have found ways to position myself so that they'll happen. I've actually learned this from Dotty. Yes, Dotty my cat. She's pretty holy. I mean, look:
But she's taught me about these still, quiet moments because of her love for the sun. A cat's life is pretty simple: sleep, eat, sleep, use the litter box, sleep some more, get pet, and sleep. On stressful "my world is spinning at 1,000 miles an hour" days, I sometimes come home and collapse on my bed where Dotty has been sleeping all day and ask her to trade places. I don't mean it. Her life is void of all adventure. (Except for the time I left the door to the balcony open and a giant bird flew in and was was trapped until my roommate put on gloves and grabbed it and threw it outside) That's why she's lived this long and will probably live to be like that 39 year old cat in the UK. But I am jealous of the time she has to just sit. She follows a strict daily routine which mainly involves finding the spots in the house where the sunlight breaks through the window and she sits in it. Sometimes she sleeps but I typically catch her awake, simply sitting or lounging in the sun. She sits on my bed frame in the early morning, moves to the hall in the late morning, stretches out on the bathroom rug in the afternoon and lays on the balcony in the late afternoon. I often wonder what is going on inside that tiny pea-size brain of hers. Does she just love the feel of the sun on her body? What possesses her to so diligently follow the sun? She always looks so peaceful, so content, in the sun, almost pensive. See:
I wonder if these moments in the sun are similar to my quiet, still moments. I wonder if I need to be more diligent and disciplined like Dotty and place myself in situations where I will be more susceptible to the still moments. Perhaps God has offered me more of this treasured time, but I've ignored it by continuing on with my to-do list or checking facebook. Perhaps I need to search for these moments like Dotty searches for the sun: with expectancy and longing.
Because the physical places aren't hard to find. I know that if I'll wake a bit earlier, hit snooze a few less times, I can bow on my knees beside my bed and enter a still moment. I know if I can pry my eyes open a few minutes earlier, I can sit on my bed and watch the sun rise and witness flocks of birds fluttering in formation and enter a still moment. I know if I get home from school and lay on the hammock and open His word and watch the clouds rather than checking my e-mail, I can enter a still moment.
And then there are the surprise still moments that catch me unaware and bring overwhelming delight. Like the moments right before my team plays a tough game- both teams are warming up, the crowd is chattering, the music is bumping, but I sometimes find myself giggling in the middle of a still moment. It's like He's sending a reminder: "don't forget why you're here, Katie. Treasure me." And I'm filled up. Or it's right after a game when my team played the worst they ever have. Seriously bad. I almost cried during the game. We won but I was still discouraged by how poorly we played. But then when I walked to the locker room I couldn't get the door open so I dropped my bags and stopped. The 605 freeway was busy. Cars were zooming by. Life was zooming by. But the moon was bright and when I stopped and looked up, I stumbled into another surprise still moment. And I smiled. My assistant coach found me that way- standing right outside the door grinning gleefully up at the moon. Because my God is so good and so sweet and was reminding me that He doesn't really care how well my team shoots. Or it's while my students are working on vocabulary assignments and I turn on my George Winston Pandora station and simply walk up and down the aisles. They may think I'm monitoring their work but really I'm just marveling at God's goodness for bringing me here- to room A1, to these kids, to this still moment.
I must learn the lesson from my cat of how to persistantly position myself for these moments but I also must "position" myself mentally. If I'm caught up in the whirlwind of my worries and stresses, I'll miss out on these moments. If I'm distracted by trashy tv or real-life drama or gossip or to-do lists, I'll miss out. It's almost heart-breaking to consider the moments I've already passed up, walked by and denied because I was moving too fast, focused too hard on the wrong things.
So I'm trying to be more like Dotty and pause more often, seek these moments, seek my God with greater tenacity, greater discipline, and greater expectancy.