Recently, a thunderstorm kept my family and me inside for most of the day. We had hoped to watch my middle daughter play in her last softball game and the kids were so disappointed that there would be no game, no swimming at the pool or playing outside with friends. We had had a busy week wrapping up school, class parties and my husband had just returned from almost a week of out of town travel. Even so, the kids stood at the windows watching the wind and raindrops smack the glass with sad little faces - frustrated that their day had been “ruined".
It’s a little known secret that to us introverts, there is something that is absolutely delightful. Something, that when it happens, we secretly celebrate.
They make me giddy. It could be almost anything on the calendar; a dentist’s appointment, a work meeting, even lunch with a friend. It doesn’t matter if it was something awesome or something we dread. For those of us that don’t fall into the extrovert category, there can be a twinge of happiness mixed in when plans have to change at the ready. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that we weren’t excited or we weren't looking forward to it. We were probably the ones who scheduled it in the first place! There’s just simply something freeing about having unexpected time that was previously booked. Spring storms or the like can disturb your schedules and, depending on your point of view, can make or break your day. Extrovert reader, are you still there?
In my own experience, I don’t build a lot of margin in life. I book up our days with back to back activity, squeezing in as much as I can. This is all well and good…until it’s not. Until you look at your calendar and get all twitchy.
I believe that our Heavenly Father wants a healthy balance of activity and rest in our daily lives. Work is a blessing from Him. This is a promise that our family talks about often and we want to instill into our children. We are each given jobs and activities to do and we should do them “unto the Lord” (Col. 3:23). The Lord knows our pace and longs for the ebb and flow of our days to include moments of rest. He even gave us a whole day in the week to do just that! (Gen. 2:2) While we usually welcome rest, we don’t always make it a priority.
So what happens when the Lord “cancels” something that we hold dear? Even those crazy introverts like me may feel inconvenienced and frustrated. He may just be giving us some room to breathe…a few unexpected moments of unscheduled blessing.
The day of the thunderstorm, I was quietly thankful that we had been given some unexpected down time. Some time at home with no constraints and busyness. The kids stayed in their PJs. We ate pancakes. It was glorious. This was an easy one. But “canceling” doesn’t always feel this warm and fuzzy in every situation. I don’t always see it with clear eyes when my plans are bent out of shape. It’s my prayer that I remember that when He sends a storm disrupting our comfortable schedule it’s for our good.
Like the calm after a storm, sometimes He clears our days to leave us refreshed for the days ahead. "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." Jeremiah 31:25 NIV