The clock reads 8:23pm. There is a clothes pile lying in the upstairs hallway. The office door is cracked open, showing an array of craft supplies strewn about the room. Descend the stairs and the living room appears to have the remains of a toy explosion. And then there is the reading room where books are left on every chair and a stack still left unread on top of the fireplace. Finally, the kitchen comes into view along with the sink full of dirty dishes and counters that would give the nearest biologist excitement about what may be growing on top. To my tired parent-eyes, these are simply evidence of the unfinished to-do list.

This to-do list stands between me and what I think I need or want most…peace and rest. It is at this moment that my heart must be realigned. I can quickly find myself dipping into the thought process that starts like this…” if only we didn’t have kids….”. Or another phrase may be…” if they would just….”. But every sentence ends the same way – focused on me. While rest and peace are necessary and I may not do it well the reality is that even the endless enjoyment of rest and peace won’t solve the issue, in fact, it may deepen the problem.

The noises and messes and struggles of life are precisely the things worth living for.

Samuel D. James

Any parent of young children or teacher or someone who deals with people daily will tell you, silence and solitude are much-needed elements of life. However, the extreme of these practices is another danger and its name is isolation. In an effort to find peace and rest, I see more and more people turning to isolation. Samuel D. James speaks to this observation and calls us to enjoy the “Signs of Life” that we often get tired of. The article is such a good reminder that Solomon gives us, “Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but increase comes by the strength of an ox.” – Proverbs 14:4

This article was a shot to my heart in a good and convicting way. I hope it is for you as well. But as always I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. What did you agree with? What do you believe Mr. James may have missed? I look forward to your comments and interaction. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Until Next Time…

Photo by Jill Heyer on Unsplash