Stories

Stuck in the Whack-a-Mole Game?

Have you ever played the game, "Whack-a-Mole?"

Sometimes I think my life is a bit like the Whack- a-Mole game. While playing, you attempt to hit a toy mole with a mallet to drive him back in his hole, but the next thing you know, he pops up out of another hole. There are more moles and more holes than you can possibly keep track of at the same time and I think it is impossible to win!

Back in January, I sensed that God was telling me I needed balance in my life. I totally agreed so I went about trying to create balance. I committed to better sleeping, better work hours, better eating, better exercise, better relationships, better time to think... well, you get my drift.

This lasted for three and a half weeks and then I unraveled. I couldn't maintain those changes in my own strength, I would get one under control and the next thing I knew, I was losing it someplace else. I was trapped in Whack-a-Mole land and it was apparent that I needed help. I needed God's help.

Still standing on the premise that I am wired to be a "Contemplative Mary" instead of a "Type-A Martha," my boss suggested that I try working away from the office one day a month, to give me time to think, write, plan and pray.

A few weeks ago I booked a room for the day at an Anglican convent in Glendale. I arrived around 9:00, had a tour, was invited to later participate in midday prayers and lunch with the sisters, and then I headed to my room.

I settled down to work and the first thing I sensed from God was that I was to rest. So I took a nap. When I got up I prayed and worked a little bit but it was soon time for prayers in the Chapel and then there was lunch.

I had forgotten that this was mostly a silent order and I got shushed a few times for my gregarious ways when I attempted to make friends in the "noise free" zones. For the most part the sisters and I got along very well and I look forward to going back!

After lunch I returned to my room and sensed the Lord imploring me to "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10. So I became very still, and then I became very sleepy, and then I napped again!

When I awoke I felt as if I was buzzing with both peace and excitement. There was a song in my heart and ideas were popping into my mind. Then I settled down and I worked really well for the rest of the day.

It made me think that perhaps God was teaching me a lesson concerning the difference between trying to do things in my strength versus His. In Matthew 11:30 Jesus tells us that "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." When I consider those last few hours of my work day spent at the convent, I am convinced that I was yoked to his supernatural strength, I didn't feel a burden to work hard and complete something.

Instead I felt his joy and his peace and I am sure that he was the one giving me his ideas. Those few hours yielded so much more fruit than I was capable of producing on my own. The effects of that experience have lingered.

As a result I am no longer committed to all the changes I thought I needed to make to bring balance into my life; instead I am committed to starting my day by being still and resting in the presence of God. I have every confidence that my heavenly Father who loves and cares for me will restore the needed balance in my life.

Here's my prayer for each of us:

Loving Father,

We thank you for the incredible gift you have given us by you simply being you. Help us to remember that you will reveal yourself to us when we are still; so Lord, please help us to be still.

May we experience what it is like to be connected with you in such a way that the yoke we share with you is easy to manage and any burdens that we carry are light. Lord, we ask for the blessing of your supernatural strength, your abundant joy and your perfect peace.


In Jesus's name we pray,
Amen