The theme of this past few days seems to be a balance between “doing all the things” and “generally slacking off.” I reworked a flower bed Sable destroyed, but did not mow. I’ve read a client submission, but also finished reading a Louis L’Amour novel. It seems I measure life in terms of checklists.
I drove to the hardware store Saturday and ended up spending a lot for 2 projects. I needed to fix a succulent flower bed in the back that Sable had started digging out. I also have a front path that is overgrown with grass, and I wanted to trade it out for large pavers.
So far, I’ve only done that back garden. I filled half the bed with large Terra Cotta pots, anchored to the ground by 8 inch bolts. She immediately tried to tip one and gave up. Victory! I also covered her favorite wallows with anti-dig mats. So far, she’s leaving them alone, too.
I brightened up a high window sill in my front room with some pretty cobalt blue blown glass I got for 50 cents a piece at an estate sale.
I topped that off with a Monday night bout of productivity. I scrubbed almost all of the vintage pyrex I picked up at that estate sale, cleaned out the fridge, tried my hand at making Asian fried rice (not too bad for a beginner), and wrapped it up with proofreading 5 pages of a client’s manuscript.
Sable kept glaring at me for keeping her up.
So on one of my driving trips over the weekend, I was thinking about why I was doing all of this. I push myself hard, until, unfortunately, my health suffers. I’m a bit more fragile than I used to be, and I forget. This morning I woke up with the pains to prove it.
The fact is, I’ve heard lots of sermons that argue well that we are made to work and be satisfied with our work. On the other hand, I’ve heard good sermons about how we need to rest. Clearly God wants us to find a balance! I’m not sure I’ve found it yet.
Looking into myself, I realized I’m trying to achieve peace by doing all this stuff. It’s not that I’ve failed at that–several visitors before Covid kept remarking on how peaceful it felt in my house. However, I think the striving can become a destructive thing if it takes up too much of my focus.
I wanted peace from looking at that mess Sable was making in my flower bed, so I spent a bunch to buy pots and potting soil, anchors, mesh, replacement plants for the dead ones, and fill gravel. I wanted peace from looking at my weedy walk, so I bought pavers and sand galore.
But this is only a temporary peace. I will find something else to stress about next week. The projects may never be done. I may spend a fortune on fixing my house, but I’ll never hit the end of the checklists!
If I want real peace, I need to go talk to the giver of peace. I realized in my devotional this morning that David’s son, who built the temple, was named peace. Solomon is a derivative of the Hebrew word for peace! Somehow I had always missed that! And David’s greater “Son” Jesus built a spiritual temple in the legacy of the family, and He did it to bring a permanent peace.
If we want peace, especially in these times, we need to pray and read our Bibles, so we can draw nearer to the Prince of Peace. There’s a lot of peace to be had in His presence.