As Grace was sitting in her Bumbo seat in the middle of the kitchen floor, Emet was running circles around her. Around and around he went. At one point, Anna Ruth stepped into the path and..."SMACK"...down they went into a big pile of angry tears. I heard Emet tell Sissy..."Anna Ruth, get out of the way! I'm running in circles!"
What irony, I thought. We do that a lot in life, don't we? The boy was literally running in circles, and going nowhere, like a hamster on a wheel. Yet his course was important to him, much more than the feelings and well being of those around him.
How many pursuits do I have that send me on this same circular route.....spending time and energy to no great end? How many days do I frantically run about, pushing aside my children in an attempt to ensure the kitchen is clean, laundry is being processed, and my "important" to-dos of responding to this inquiry or that on my computer. How many outside tasks pull me away from my goal of pouring love and time into my children during the short years I have them at home and under my strong influence. Yet, in the end...will they remember my eyes looking into theirs? Or, will they see my face staring at a computer screen or phone? Will they remember me sitting down to put together a puzzle, color a picture, or play tag outside? Or will they hear the words..."Not right now, Mama's busy...Mama has something important to do"?
It seems like for each morsel of time I have, there are several small commitments vying for a slot. And, they all call out their minimal requirements...."Meet only once per month......only on Wednesday nights for two hours....All I'd have to do is...." Yet, no matter how worthwhile or important they may seem, they pale in comparison to my high calling as a Mama to these four beautiful children. My time of great influence in their lives is brief. I think I'd better be evaluating my course with every decision and commitment I make.
The prophet Nehemiah was likewise adamant in his refusal to leave the important work of building the city wall, despite numerous pulls for his attention. "And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”" Nehemiah 6:3
Likewise, I have an important work before me, and I dare not leave it for yet another hamster wheel....all in order to run in circles to no great end.