Keeping the Clock Wound

So we must daily keep things wound: that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust; we must write when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy, when our bodies are in pain. We may not always be able to make our "clock" run correctly, but at least we can keep it wound, so that it will not forget.

Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water

The other day I confessed to a small group of moms that I was just plain burnt-out with homeschool at the moment. They were all considering their options and looking for encouragement to homeschool, and there I was - with the big yellow bus in my eyes.

They may have been relieved to hear it, the way we all like to hear that our secret struggles are common to man.

I treat my spiritual life too much like my physical one.

I sometimes feel like I am supposed to be perpetually excited about certain things, and I don't have the energy for that. I can show you snapshots of excited and glimpses of it in notebooks and fancy timelines, but the everyday looks different. I can run hard for awhile and then I need a break.

I really should pace myself better, but I float with my feelings and lately I've been feeling Done.

Admitting to homeschool burn-out is really not a very big deal. 

What seems bigger is the dryness in my bones as I read the inspired Word of God; or when I come before His throne, privileged and loved, and I get bored with the conversation, distracted, vacant.

Those are the yucky confessions.

I'm coming out of one of those seasons now (which sounds smug and very Christianese, but I can't think of another way to say it). Just this morning I thanked the Lord that He was my first thought today. And my guilty conscience berates me that it isn't always so.

*****

planting peas

Winter has been too long (isn't it always?) and we had this teaser of spring - a small string of sunny, clear days where the grass grew and the tulips bloomed and we got the peas in the ground.

Then cold.

Now rain.

It's always that way though - too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet. We are foolish to complain about seasons that are too long when we have this promise of seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer.

We complain anyways, and we are fools who forget that God made seasons.

But what we do in the Good Seasons

(as if one were better?

as if you could even have one without the other?

as if all the seasons didn't have purpose and design to work together for good?)

and how we live in the Bad Seasons might just determine the length of each. 

I'm tempted to think we store up in the good season so we can scrimp by in the bad.

*****

My husband has always been self-employed and his employment has always been seasonal - times of feast followed by a season of famine. Not famine reallyyou know, because we live in America; but times when pickings were slim and pennies were scraped.

Obviously, in the feast times you set aside funds for the famine to come; but there is also a temptation, after the season of famine, to go a little berserk and splurge and feed the flesh that you've been denying for so (sarcastically) long. 

Buy All The Things and stock the shelves.

During the famine, you don't do things like go to the movies or buy fancy food or take big vacations. You plan ahead, conserve, reserve. And I know this one - you blame a lot of attitude problems on the things you can't afford. 

You live smaller in the famine.

And during the feast, maybe you splurge but you are careful and mindful of the next season - so you still live a little thin.

I treat my spiritual life too much like my physical one.

I want to run headlong into the storehouse and hoard and gorge on the goodness of the Lord when I feel like it - because I know the day will come when I don't. I am too seasoned to think that this honeymoon will last and while I may be enjoying myself and gorging now, in the back of my mind I know famine is coming.

I want to cut back and live small and conservative when my spirit is dry: don't expend too much; don't take leaps that your quiet time can't back up; don't ask for more than your faith can handle. 

Thankfully, the Lord doesn't depend on my faithfulness to influence His. He is ever faithful; I am sometimes faithful - which may be the biggest oxymoron ever.

There is always a feast available. Always.

I'm working on keeping this clock wound - doing the things I know to do and expecting to see the goodness of the Lord.