Escape is only temporary, but in the distancing, we can often find our way back.
I wish I could testify that my wrestling was short term, but it has not been. This is not the first time I have been in the ring, but it is the longest. How do you stop wrestling when every beat of your heart and reasoning of your mind declares that a mistake has been made?
I need to escape the four walls of my home where my chaos of thoughts are swirling and colliding. Sound thinking just is not possible in the shock of the situation, and my mind and heart cannot meet with any form of unity.
So, I escape to the garden, where at least my heart can find rest in the planting. Today is as good a day as any to transplant the struggling potted plants which have somehow managed to survive the dry, tropical winter in spite of my lack of attention.
I welcome the coolness of the dirt through my hands and feel the richness of its texture. It is calming, and right now it seems this is one of the only things in my life I have control over, where I will plant and what I will plant.
I like to have control. Who doesn’t? When I have control I feel safe. Sound familiar? I think somewhere along the way between childhood and adulthood, I made a silent pact with my heart that I had to take care of myself and be in control in order to feel safe.
What does control look like to me? Control means having answers and reasoning. Control is knowing what is coming. Control is having a choice. Right now, in this situation, I have none of these. There is nothing I can say and nothing I can do to change the outcome, and I feel confined.
With each shovel full comes more releasing of my thoughts, and I let them come. In this very moment of planting, my soul begs to be real with my Creator. My tears sting once again as they roll down my cheeks into the dark hole. I dig a little deeper…..
“My thoughts are not your thoughts……” There is a reason this scripture was the first thing which came to mind. I am fully aware as a “thinker” that I place entirely too much emphasis on my own thoughts and my ability to figure things out , to solve my own issues and to make my own black and white judgments. It gives me control.
I gently lift the plants with their well established root balls from the pots. The roots are deep, and at first they do not yield. They are tightly bound and tangled from being confined to their surroundings. I too have deeply buried roots, and I realize that as I fight throughout my life to keep control, my roots become unyielding to anything which threatens this control.
“…Neither are me ways your ways.” Is. 55:8
Carefully, I place the struggling plants into their new resting place and pack the rich dirt around them. I know they will now be able to stretch their roots, dig deeper and thrive in their changed environment. A new environment fraught with change seems eminent. Digging deeper to hold my grounding is what I must do if I am going to not just survive, but also grow stronger through it.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Is. 55:9
Stepping back, I take in the choices made in the planting. I like having choices. Escaping has helped me realize that I do have a choice in this situation…a choice to yield. I can choose to yield control . I can choose to yield my thoughts. I can choose to yield “my way.”
My thoughts are many, and these many thoughts do not bring me peace, only confusion, a stubborn spirit and an unwillingness to yield. If I am going to accept God’s leading in this situation, I must escape my thoughts which threaten to control me. Escaping means choosing to take control of this area and yield it to God’s higher thoughts and higher ways….even if I don’t understand.
Ding…end of round two.
What does control look like for you?
How do your thoughts control you when life gets difficult?