Have you seen the movie Elf? Who am I kidding... of course you have. It's literally the best. Well you know that scene where Walter takes Buddy to the doctor to find out if Buddy REALLY is his biological son? That scene just kills me. I think you should probably take a second to watch it just as a refresher.
Did you watch it? haha! Oh man, that's good stuff. I'm almost crying.
Before Finley came into our lives I honestly thought that that scene was a total exaggeration. I mean come on, kids couldn't be THAT fidgety and distracted could they? Well if you don't have kids, I'm here to tell you that that is EXACTLY how they are sometimes... er most of the time. Like for reals. It's insane. And our adorable Finley girl went through this same super fun (note the sarcasm) stage not too long ago where she just couldn't sit still. Especially at dinner time.
I would just have gotten everything on the table, a hot home cooked meal that smells delicious, looks delicious, IS delicious... and our cute little family would gather around the table, say quick prayer and dive right in. And within about 30 seconds it would begin... the fidgeting. The looking around the room. The pulling books off of the bookshelf. The tickling of feet under the table. The investigating something outside the dinning room window. The spontaneous outbreak of song and dance. The random planking on the dining room chair (not joking). It was insane. The kid just wouldn't sit still. No matter how hungry she was at dinnertime, she just wouldn't sit still longer than 30 seconds to eat.
Now you are probably laughing. But for all you parents out there, you know this is absolute madness. The kind of pull-out-your-hair and want to scream "JUST SIT DOWN!" madness. God bless parents of toddlers.
Travis and I would talk about this post bedtime and it would absolutely baffle us how even though she was SO hungry, she just couldn't sit still long enough to take care of her insane hunger. To feed that craving. Oh children. I went to bed that night eventually laughing about it. And every night following for quite some time.
Now some back story - around this time my soul was in a pretty low place. It was nearing the end of 2020 and I had been feeling so incredibly lonely, sad, I hadn't been spending much, if any, time with Jesus. I was running on empty. I was in a sense spiritually starving. And one morning it hit me. Like a nice little gentle backslap to the head. I was no different from Finley during mealtimes.
Finley was too busy, too distracted, too consumed with her need to keep moving that she missed the delicious hot meal right in front of her.
And just like Finley, I was too distracted, too consumed with my own need to keep moving and ignoring the deep hunger of my soul that I was missing out on what God had available for me. Everything my soul was craving was literally right in front of me, free for the taking. But I was just too busy looking out the window at everyone who had left, I was busy planking in my chair of sadness, I was being distracted by TV shows, books, etc.
And what my soul was craving was something that none of that could ever satisfy.
Jesus actually addresses a similar situation with a woman named Martha in the book of Luke, chapter 10. Martha is so busy cooking and preparing the house for Jesus to visit that she doesn't even sit still to enjoy his presence. Take a look...
Luke 10:38-40 - 38As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But her sister Mary gets it. She leaves all the distractions and to-do's alone to just be with Jesus. And it makes Martha mad. She is too mad and too busy to realize she just won't sit still and soak in what's in front of her. In verse 41 Jesus has these words for Martha and they ring true for us as well...
“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Mary got it. And after Jesus gently reminding me through my daughter Finley, I was starting to get it again too. Jesus is literally the source for everything my soul was craving. And the same is true for you too. He is serving up endless amounts of comfort. Of love. Of joy. Of wisdom. He has an abundance of hope ready for you if we would just sit still long enough to take it all in.
Friends - when was the last time you sat still long enough to soak up all of the good things that Jesus is offering you right now? When did you turn off the distractions long enough to realize that everything we are craving at a deep soul level is available to us, right here, right now. And what could our lives look like today, tomorrow, next week if we took time to sit still and take in everything that Jesus has and is.
As we continue our week, join me in reflecting on this last verse and setting aside time to just sit still.
Matthew 11:28-30 - 28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”