living by distraction

I read this morning
“joy is always given, never grasped”
and the thought that runs into my head
is that joy is never chased down,
and often missed because of how quickly I keep moving.

I live by distraction.
I live to move on to the next thing.
To close the book so I can add it to the list and move on to the next thing.
To finish the homework so we can move on to the next task.
To make supper, eat and clean up so we can get ready for bed.
Never lingering.

As I write these words I laugh for the child that the Lord has given me.
One that forces me to go slower than I want.
Does she bring me into her space?
Does she bring me into that place of drawing, creating,
really seeing?
More often she angers me. Stirs up something within me.
Certainly not joy.

But now, as a simple task of emptying a dishwasher has brought me to my knees in discomfort,
I find myself having to slow and sit.
I find myself having to move at a pace that I don’t find comfortable.
I want to get well.
I want my body to be back to normal so that I can do and go.
But He has brought me to this place of quiet and rest.

I tell my husband that I read too quickly. I devour books, but they don’t sink in.
I’m like a speed eater who stuffs all the food in to win a contest, but doesn’t really enjoy it.
I move through life too quickly.
Trying to stuff it all in and then move on to…what?

So I find myself sitting in the place of slow
full of joy.

Joy for the sun streaming in that I tend to glance at, but never sit in.
Joy for the time reading words and writing them down and sitting with those words.
Joy for the time sitting at the table after dinner instead of hurrying to move on to the next thing.
Joy for the slow walk around the block. Stretching out muscles that are so easily tired right now.
Joy for the distractions that are fading away.

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