- Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
- Theology. continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.
- A nine-month-old boy learning…. just about anything.
I watched Micah bounce in his Jump-n-Go for about 30 minutes straight and I realized, if I were to merely copy his actions throughout the day, I really don’t think I could physically make it past day three. It’s no wonder he sleeps 15 hours a day (12 at night plus 3 in naps). When he’s not jumping continuously for hours, he’s climbing or crawling until he’s ready to pass out. He sleeps and then it starts all over again. Sometimes I find myself laying on the floor in his nursery, just watching him crawl over my legs, up on the changing table, back down across the room, over my head, up on the crib, back down and over my arm, up to the door, back down… He is in constant motion. Even while he is in my lap nursing, he is fidgeting. He’s either swinging his arms around or trying to crawl around on my lap without breaking suction. (Pretty impressive if you ask me!) Forget Jillian Michaels… I’m just going to start copying my baby and I’ll lose the weight in no time.
It’s a good thing babies are so persistent, otherwise we’d have a lot of people laying around, not walking or feeding themselves. At what point do we start giving up? Is it the first time someone says, “you’ll never get this”? Is it on the 73rd failed attempt? What is the driving force that propels these little legs to keep going all day and how is it lost?
I wish I could bottle that youthful energy and drive and apply it to my spiritual life. In college, I was like Micah. I was so incredibly thirsty for God. I was reading my bible or on my knees every time I got a spare minute and I lived for it. I kept going, without ceasing; with every ounce I pursued the kingdom. I needed to walk with God, and no matter how many times I fell right on my butt, I kept getting right back up and continued on.
And then I left college and I started a job in a different city, away from my family and friends. I didn’t make the effort to plug into my new church at the same level as I had in college. We ran out of money and I started working as an Assistant Manager at Walgreens and that was the final straw. It wasn’t just the horrible hours or the low morale. It was the culture of the company. No respect for my requests to have Sunday mornings off. No compassion for the injuries I sustained while I worked there. Everyone was always looking behind them for the next person to stab them in the back. Before long, I was so far gone, I started having panic attacks. As I drove to work one morning, I felt my chest tighten and my throat close. My face got numb and I crumbled under a state of absolute fear. I didn’t even realize what was happening. I felt like I was dying. When I finally quit, I came home each night only to realize that I had lost a huge part of my relationship with my husband. It had been so long since we had spent any extended amount of time together that we didn’t even know what to talk about anymore. It felt weird.
It took several months to repair everything.
I can honestly say that my marriage is in the greatest shape it’s ever been, but I have never fully recovered spiritually. I know it’s my own fault, but I can’t even put my finger on what’s wrong. I used to pray with such passion, and now I feel like one of those people who pretend to talk on their cell phone so they don’t feel so alone while they walk through the mall. I get through a paragraph of my bible and suddenly my mind is a million miles away. I sing worship songs at church and I feel like the words are coming out of my mouth, but the meaning is hidden and I’m more focused on whether I’m in tune. (It’s one of the reasons I quit choir.) I feel like I have no focus… no attention span.
When I was in fourth grade, my mom let me wear her necklace to school. I think it was a locket. I was outside playing at recess and I heard the whistle blow. I couldn’t have been farther from the door, so I had to run. As my feet hit the ground, I felt the necklace toss about my neck and I began to worry that it would snap, so I clasped my hand around it as I ran. Only my arms continued to pump, despite my attempts to hold the pendent close to my heart, my arm swung, my hand jerked, the chain broke and the charm was tossed behind me. I desperately searched in the grass around me but the whistle continued to blow. My heart sunk and I ran inside, doubtful I would ever find it again. I didn’t.
Once in a while, everything comes into focus, and for a few brief moments, I am back. I have an intense moment of spiritual clarity. I taste that hunger once again. I feel the warmth of that passion at my finger tips. But just as I begin to tighten my grip around it, it dissolves in the busyness of my mind, drowned in a sea of too much thought. The news, my pregnancy blog, my chores, my baby’s needs, my dinner plans, my bills… all come flooding in and it’s gone. A necklace lost in a grassy field.
Is it because I’m trying to hold onto this thing while I continue to run through the rest of my day, my month, my year? Perhaps I should have taken a moment to stop and put that necklace in my pocket. Maybe I’m not taking enough time to really stop thinking about everything else and focus on my relationship with God, and that is why it is suffering. Whatever I’m doing… it’s not working. It’s not enough. I need to find another way to turn everything else off. It’s easy to turn off the TV, silence my phone and shut down the computer, but how do you silence everything else?
Micah’s about to wake up. Shh…
What am I going to make for dinner tonight? Shh…
Where are we going to get the money for this? Shh…