Something always breaks when I’m in a hurry.
In the rush to clear the table, the water goblet shatters.
I run down the stairs, too hurried to even flip on a light, and that’s when I trip over the toy on the last step. The ankle snaps.
In the hurry out the driveway, I skim the bumper of the car behind me, for I am too rushed to see it before it’s too late.
And it happened yesterday: I treated life like a race against a clock.
She can’t find her tennis shoes anywhere, and the bus is now just one mile away. I snap, telling her she needs to be more responsible, and every hot word spills like a torrent of lava. Where is the grace in this?
When I treat life like a panicked race, I am a bull in a china shop. Something always breaks. This time, it was my daughter.
She is brimming with tears, and I am crammed with guilt. (And yes, we’ve both been here before. )
She slips on her sister’s one-size-too-small tennies, while the bus creaks to a stop. The bus door opens an accordian-mouth, swallowing up my teary child. She is the walking wounded.
By 10 a.m., I call a friend, and confess. She’s been there. She knows how mornings are hard, and sometimes they feel like a mom’s worst enemy.
All day, I rethink the morning. I pile on colossal if-onlys. And why is it that the clock runs the same speed all 24 hours, but in the morning it seems to tick double-time?
I treat life like it’s a race toward what? The mortal finish? It doesn’t make sense. Rushing is not my theology. My Savior didn’t run, he walked.
I make more promises, knowing I can’t really keep any of them on my own:
1 — I will slow down, plan ahead, and stop the panicked approach to things like lost shoes.
2 — When I mess up, I will seek forgiveness through the only One who can make broken things whole.
3 — I will not burden myself with guilt, and rushing around trying to figure out how to do life right, but letting grace be my guide.
4 — I also vow to acknowledge this: I will mess up again. I will break my promise. I will stand in need of forgiveness again. And I will need to start over with this four-point list because I am human and because I am in constant need of grace.
It’s 3:15 p.m., and I’ve come to pick up the girls from school. The daughter in the too-small shoes says it first, when we’re outside the glass doors. “I’m so sorry, Mommy,” she says.
“I’m sorry, too,” I whisper, with gratitude spilling down my cheeks.
We hug, while backpacked children rush by and bump us. But nothing breaks, for we are stilled.
this is my theology.
There He is right here, no kidding, in this child whom I embrace underneath an elementary-school flagpole.