Tonight, I needed some time.
Life had gotten busy, and I wasn’t paying attention. I hadn’t noticed that I wasn’t noticing.
And I realized all this suddenly, at the place where the bike path hits Solano.
Recently, life has shifted for me: from student to worker, from graduate school to grade school. Instead of spending my days in books, now I spend my days on playgrounds, making safe spaces for children to play. And in the evenings – weary of fighting and four square – I come home to lace up running shoes and jog in the fading sunlight.
I stick headphones in my ears, eager to soak up podcasts and sermons, favorite radio shows and audio books (as though running isn’t a productive enough use of time on its own). And almost every evening, I run north and the sun falls into the Bay somewhere off to my left.
This night, preacher was preaching, and the words were good but I wasn’t listening. My mind kept straying, and I kept losing the thread of the message. My legs were tired, my mind was tired, and I was pushing through, attempting to be overly productive, when I just needed some time.
So I stopped to stretch and listen to my body. “Are you tired?” I asked. “Do you hurt?” “Are you well-fed and well-rested?”
And then I took the headphones out and ran home without external noise. Which is not to say I wasn’t listening. I asked my spirit, “Are you tired? Do you hurt? Are you well-fed and well-rested?” And I had to listen patiently and quietly for an answer.
Then, when I got home, I took that time. I fed my hungry body and soul, and soaked up the goodness of rest. And I am grateful for the reminder that peace comes most fully with surrender, and that joy roots most deeply in presence.
What reminds you to take the time you need? What noises, internal or external, do you have to silence in order to find a space of rest?