Today I'd planned to take my monthly "quiet day". This is still a fairly new practice for me, but since the fall I've made an effort to spend one day a month in quiet meditation. I know--I KNOW--that I need time like this on a regular basis in order to cultivate a deeper relationship with God, and with my own spirit. I spend so much of my time doing, and so much of my time talking, that it is absolutely necessary for me to spend time just being and listening if I am to have anything resembling a balanced and grounded life.
But knowing that you need something--that in fact you will truly enjoy something--is not exactly the same as doing it. Some months this happens: I schedule my quiet day weeks in advance, and then, when that day arrives, I wake up with a very long to-do list on my mind. As I think of the day ahead, I am convinced that the thing that will truly give me peace of mind will be to work on the to-do list. A whole day without appointments seems like the perfect opportunity to "get things done", and I tell myself I'll take the quiet day later. And later never seems to come.
Well, this month, I wasn't going to let that happen. I was truly ready for this quiet day. It's just that I had to do a few small things in the morning. Things that absolutely had to get done today, but which were really so small I decided they didn't really "count" as doing anything. So, I got out to the retreat center around noon (okay, I guess my little things took the whole morning). I was so happy to be there, and the weather was perfect. I just needed to find a bench to sit on and I was ready to just sit still and listen.
One problem: the first bench I picked was too close to an area where someone was mowing with a very large, very noisy rider mower. So I had to move. Then, the mower got close to the next bench. I moved again. This went on until I ran out of benches. Truly frustrated, I walked around for a while longer and then I went home. I just couldn't find any quiet today, and I decided to move on before I got really negative.
Coming home, I thought of the words to one of my favorite songs by the Christian songwriter Sara Groves, "Just One More Thing". The song made me think that maybe I'll try to find some quiet tomorrow.
There's always just one more thing
There's always another task
There's always I just have one more small favor to ask
And everything is urgent and everything is now
I wonder what would really happen if I stopped somehow
And love to me is when you put down that one more thing and say
I've got something better to do
And love to me is when you walk out on that one more thing and say
Nothing will come between me and you
Not even one more thing