As I sit here surrounded by piles of folded laundry that need to be placed in their respective hiding places, I’m overwhelmed by a sense of urgency, passion, and despair. Like many, I’ve found myself in the middle of my life, moved with desire to fulfill a longing for God in my heart. Yet, the intensity of my desire is matched by an impending sense of responsibility that has imbedded itself into my life. To compound the conflict, a quick glance behind my shoulder reveals years of what could have been, but are now shadows of what wasn’t.
So how do we deal with the sense that we’ve found ourselves a little behind the game, so late in our lives? How do we turn over that one ton leaf? How do we prioritize a life filled with elements that cannot be shed, to pursue a few optional moments of spiritual fulfillment?
Throughout the years, I’ve found myself caught up in demanding jobs that I absolutely hated: time-consuming, energy-sucking, dream-squashing jobs. While the pay was decent, and for some the career was ideal, because they were not anywhere close to the passion and desires smoldering in my heart, each day I felt as if I were squandering my life away in a hopeless world.
Several years ago, my frustration was compounded and I was completely overwhelmed by the sense that the purpose of my entire existence had been set aside to support the callings of others. Much like Joseph, I found myself deep inside a prison, playing my role in the dreams of others, while my dreams were buried inside the concrete walls of a dungeon.
At one particular breaking point, my husband began to urge me to take some time away, and I responded with the usual banter of I-can’t.-There-is-no-way.-Not-an-option. Sensing that freeing myself for one day wasn’t a reality in my mind, he quietly handed me a cd. “Here,” he said. “At work today, just listen to one song. One.”
“What are you talking about?” I quickly retorted.
“Listen to one song. It’s like a vacation in the middle of your day. A mini vacation. A three-minute vacation.”
Now, years later, again I felt the occasional, overwhelming sense that what I long for is outside the realm of realistic possibility, and I’m drawn to the urge to take a three-minute vacation from my life. Perhaps at this point in the journey, there is no way that I can fully embrace the dream that God has placed in my heart, tell my boss to take my job and shove it, and hire a maid to put away the laundry. However, I can break down my day enough to live my passion for three minutes.
Tomorrow and the next day, as I find three more minutes to carve out of my day, perhaps my time living God’s plan for my life will extend to five minutes, and then eight.