R – E – L – A – X

When I fly, part of the experience is looking out the window at the tiny trees, roads, cars and cities. It’s as if the whole world was suddenly reduced to miniature and I’m the only full sized human peering down from my window in the sky.  And as I peer at the tiny world below, possibilities open up and I began to think in the poetry and verse of ideas.

At least that is what I like to think.

This morning, instead, I boarded the plane to Indy, found my seat at the back of the plane, sat down and discovered the window closed.

“That’s odd,” I thought. 

Opening the window, I realized why it had been shut.  I was starring at one of the two engines.  The whole window was filled with a white metal panel lined with rivets and screws.  Now the loss of view wouldn’t have dampened my spirits, but as soon as the engine roared to life, I desperately shoved my earbuds into my ears in an attempt to drown out the mind-numbing noise.

But before descending into self-pity, I read this quote,

“We all get stuck in place on occasion. We all move backwards sometimes.” *

The truth is that sometimes we do get stuck in the back seat of the plane looking at the engine.  I was at least moving forward because I had boarded the plane, but the view wasn’t what I wanted.  I was stuck.

Meanwhile, my friend Craig, sitting one seat over, said what he’d been saying all week.

“It will be ok.  R – E – L – A – X.”

This wasn’t the first time he had said this.  It was probably the  5,239th time he had said it.  It was starting to get annoying.  But then I realized there was some truth in that.  My stress level sky rockets as I hurry and hustle instead of taking time to relax, reflect and rest.  It does!  And here at the end of a week designed for rest and reflection, I was falling back into my default mode.  I was falling back on my own strength as if I was God.  And I make a rotten god.

“…anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.” writes Paul in Hebrews.  “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”

So as I head home now, bumping along in the back of a white 15-passenger van, I am resting in what the Lord has for me at home and at work.  Maybe you should do the same.  Maybe we should both listen to my friend, Craig, when he says,

“Listen Jack!  R – E – L – A – X!”


*Quote from Brave Enough, by Cheryl Strayed.

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