Do your thoughts ever go down bunny trails? You know….where one thought leads to another…to another, and suddenly you’re talking about something totally unrelated to the current conversation? (My husband would surely have a few choice thoughts to share at this point, but he can get his own blog!)
This happens to me literally every day. I’d like to think it’s because I have superior analytical brain skills, but it’s probably because I have bouncy thoughts and get distracted by shiny things. =) In any event, I often find myself explaining where some random thing I just said came from and tracing backward down the mental bunny trail.
Even as a kid I remember getting lost in thought and hearing my name called by the teacher as my classmates sniggled. I LOVE really long car trips because I have hours of uninterrupted daydream time. It’s a great skill to pull out when you just want to check out of something. Don’t want to think about mounting bills? Plan a fabulous mental vacation! Bored with a mundane task? Imagine yourself discovering a new species of exotic bird in the Amazon rain forest….or anything that keeps your mind…..floating.
Don’t get me wrong, I know the pitfalls of “checking out” and avoiding all things unpleasant, but sometimes the best thing we can do, even in the hardest of times is….float.
For the first time in my entire life there is a pool in my backyard. I’ve had wading pools and for much of our kids’ childhood there was a 3 1/2 foot “above ground” in the backyard. But this is a real, cement in the ground, so deep I can’t touch the bottom even when I dive pool. And this is where I’ve had my best floating. (Now, this is a delicate thing to even ask, but….from this point on, you must not, under any circumstances picture me in a bathing suit. Are we understood? Good….)
This past summer was a rough one. And I’m not even sure I can adequately explain why, so I won’t spend a lot of time trying. Let’s just say I did a lot of floating. Only this time I got to do it in mind AND body! Nearly every day I would come home from work, throw my keys on the table and head for the nearest bathing suit and towl…(remember our agreement?) I would then get a glass of icy ice water or tea, head to the backyard, plop my air mattress in the water and oh so gracefully and always on the first attempt glide onto the mattress and into the water. (You may picture that part.) But for the sake of arguement, let’s say that it was really hard to get the air mattress to stay still long enough to jump on and that even once on, there was a 75% chance of bobbing off within 10 seconds. OK, that may be closer to the truth, but the point is that I had to work at even getting in the right place and posture to float!
But once there, it was as if every care, every anxiety, all the sadness, the unknown…..all just lifted far above enough for me to….float. And God met me in that pool. I am totally serious. As I look back over the last year, I see that summer of floating as where so much heart and soul healing took place. God didn’t tell me to “buck up” or to “pray harder” or to “be a better Christian”….God just stayed with me as we floated together. Sometimes we talked, lots of times we just hung out. I don’t remember super big epiphanies or burning bush moments, but as I look back I’m surprised to realize the extent of the healing power in my floatin’ time with God.
Where are your “floating” places? If you don’t have one, I encourage you to find yours! Where do you feel God’s presence the best? In nature? In music? In art? Just being aware that God’s spirit is always near to pour into our hearts the perfect dose of company and quiet is sometimes the remedy for what ails us. Even if you’re not accustomed to talking to God, I encourage you to find a place to float for awhile. You don’t have to try so hard all the time, ya know. I learned last summer that God is really good at just being there, as a daydream companion – no words necessry.
Soon it will be warm enough to mount that blasted raft again. It might take some work to strike the right balance. But make no mistake about it…..I’m gettin’ my float on!