I started putzing around straightening the house. I loaded the dishwasher and turned it on. Felt a little better. I threw away the approximately 2,000 pieces of junk mail on the kitchen table. Went nuts and cleaned the kitchen and dining room including sweeping. Well! That’s much nicer.
Hair standing on end, in my pajamas but feeling just a little less disgusting and disgusted. Nose still running, throat still hurting, muscles still aching.
I wandered down into the stinky God-forsaken basement that is clearly a portal to hell via the ever-backing up floor drains. Threw in a load of laundry. Somehow the sound of the washer running was soothing in the quiet house.
Back up to the living room, I turned on the new boom box I got the Mr. for Christmas that has been sitting on the coffee table ever since. Flipped to the local Christian station. Hmm. Nice. Despite my standing-up hair, sore throat and aching muscles my heart leapt into worship mode. And instantly I felt a little better. I decided, I’m going to life group tonight, doggone it. I hope they don’t mind standing-up hair because I’m clearly too sick to groom.
With worship on the air and hair stretching toward heaven I started to clean up the usual piles of refuse that lay around my living room. Shocking, I know. Once the trash was gone I decided that the secondary mess of “stuff that doesn’t belong in the living room” (pronounced shrilly ‘STUFF THAT DOESN’T BELONG IN THE LIVING ROOM YOU GUYS!!!’) had to be dealt with. You see, generally I leave the “stuff that doesn’t belong in the living room” in the living room because its’ not my stuff. Somebody needs to get the stuff outta here. But not me because it’s not my stuff.
Once trash and stuff was dealt with there was another issue. Dust. The trash and stuff had been hiding dust. When did this place get so dusty? Probably sometime during the last month, when I haven’t dusted. That’s my guess. So I dusted.
Then I had a brainstorm. Inspired! I’ll rearrange the living room! It won’t take but a minute or two and it’ll be a nice change of pace! A real pick-me-up.
Hair standing on end, throat hurting, muscles aching, worship worshiping I started shoving furniture this way and that way. More trash and stuff revealed behind every piece of furniture. Forty five minutes later I’m standing in the middle of a nightmare. I realize that there is no other reasonable arrangement for this furniture. This furniture in fact, does not even really fit in this room. Oh well, I’m in it now. Let’s get wacky.
So wacky I got. I put the too-big couch kitty corner which basically resulted in approximately ten square feet of unusable floor now behind the thing making the tiny living room tinier still. I put a table behind it with a lamp on it. Now it looks well-lit and crazy.
I put the two chairs against another wall and crammed the coffee table between them because there is no longer enough floor space for it to be in the customary coffee table position.
I can’t move the entertainment center because it is five tons of particle board engineering genius that will remain in place after Armageddon as the only evidence of the previous society before the New Jerusalem. Either that or someday my grandchildren will climb inside and disappear to another land where they will become the sons and daughters of Adam. (Note to self, write a series of books about that and become famous and beloved.)
I flipped the cushions, vacuumed, dusted and fell exhausted on to my kitty corner couch. It’s about two hours later now and the morning music has turned over to teaching on the radio. A few more loads of laundry are done and I’ve unloaded the clean dishes from the dishwasher. I light a few candles in the kitchen and living room.
My hair is still standing on end, my throat hurts and my muscles ache. No change there. But my house is in order (kind of) and my heart is full. At the end of the equation, I consider myself ahead of where I started.
I showered, studied, studied some more. Relaxed. Admitted that the new living room arrangement is a travesty but we’re going to have to live with it for now. Besides, it’s kind of growing on me.
I made a pot of chilli for dinner.
Daboyz came home and looked at the living room with an expression of concern.
The Mr. came home and said, “What the heck?”
He sat down in his chair and leaned way forward cocking his head hard to the right. That’s the only way he can see the television in this new arrangement.
We went to life group and as usual, were blessed to have the time with our friends to talk about God, life and to laugh at each other.
And I remained sick and called off on Thursday and Friday as well.
It has me wondering though, how much of my time is swallowed up in emptiness? Like King Solomon wrote, nothing is gained by all the labor we put ourselves to.
I know, I was working around the house and I seem to be the poster child for nothing gained for my labor. But I’m not thinking about the living room arrangement, or the caught-up laundry or the swept kitchen floor.
The day turned when the television went off and the worship came on. It’s a simple lesson, recognize the empty and fill it up. Channel surfing=empty time. Worship music=full.
Laying in bed reading magazines=empty. Studying 1 Samuel=full.
Staying home with sticking up hair on the couch=empty.
Going to life group=full.
I’ll have my hours yet to come of channel surfing, wasted time and laziness. But I’d like to remember the lesson of just trying to avoid the empty times a little more. It’s not a formula for Godliness so much as just a better way to spend the day when you pause and decide what to do with the moment instead of riding it like a wave over which you’ve no control.
I suspect when I’ve filled my life with the finer things of God I’ll be more satisfied with the quiet times of sticking up hair and laying on a cock-eyed couch.
Lord, let me never lay down at night with a fist full of empty day.
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.