I just got home from a week long vacation with my family. We enjoyed the sun and the sand and the water; and I enjoyed my kids! Instead of three tiny Tasmanian devils, I saw three joyful little boys. Instead of constantly averting disasters, I laughed with them and watched them play. It was a much needed break from our everyday.
Now that we’re back, I’m feeling a little like Jonah. He ran the opposite way from what God wanted and he got swallowed by a whale. Jonah was afraid of what God told him to do and was clinging to the ordinary.
Most of the time, instead of following God’s instructions of being joyful and grateful and giving grace freely, I often feel that I run the other way. In the normal day to day of raising three boys 5 and under, I feel like I get swallowed up – by routine and schedule and discipline and exhaustion. I feel like I am trapped down in the dark belly of it all, instead of enjoying the sunshine and waves of my boys’ childhood. I can find myself afraid of changing routine or making a concession for their enjoyment. “If I give in on this, where will it lead?” “If I let this go, will I be able to regain control of the situation?” Although these can be valid questions, I shouldn’t let the fear of the answer swallow me whole. If I were listening to God’s instructions to live with joy and graditude and show grace to everyone around me, these choices wouldn’t be so hard.
Having a break from it all reminded me what fresh air feels like. It reminded me to laugh a little more and let a little more go. I got to spend a week outside the belly of the beast and I think I’d like to stay out!