I give the “five minutes till we need to be out the door” call, but four of us are still together in the bathroom. I stretch over Maddie, brushing her teeth at one corner of the sink, so I can lean against the mirror and dab mascara on my lashes. Beside Maddie, PJ shoves for space to spit. Behind us Em scrabbles in the “hair stuff” drawer to find a rubber band for her braid. Then Jake wanders in. I glance at his feet.
“Where are your shoes?”
His eyes go wide.
Shoes? His look says to me. Did you mention shoes?
“Jake, I’ve already asked you three times to put on your shoes!”
“Oh, okay.” He turns to go.
“But don’t you need to brush your teeth?”
He turns back. “Yeah, but you just said to get my shoes.”
“Well you might as well brush your teeth while you’re in here. Patrick, stop wiping your mouth on your sleeve. That’s gross.”
Maddie interrupts. “Mom, what’s today?”
“What day is today?”
“Why does THAT matter right now?”
“I want to read the verse for today, and I don’t know if you’ve already flipped it.”
I’d been too rushed.
I look at my watch and tell her the date. She reads the verse aloud, “Psalm 25:4. Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.”
And in the fussing of Jake getting to the sink and Patrick and Maddie away from it, of Emily reaching between to wet a hairbrush, I hear the Holy Spirit’s clear whisper: “This is not My Way.”
This: the hustle-bustle that I in large part created with my impatient spirit.
This: the grasping of minutes only as vehicles to “being on time for the ‘bigger’ thing” rather than as gifts in themselves.
This: moments lived without remembrance of the Giver, without heeding what He wants me to see and learn
Suddenly they are gone and I am alone in the bathroom. I lean over the sink, finally still.
Why do I have to learn this lesson over and over? I wonder, but I look again at the verse: Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
I’d read Psalm 25 recently. I know what it teaches about “His Way.”
“To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust… Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long.”
Even in busy moments, waiting—to see God’s gifts, to see HIM. I often think of waiting as inactive, but couldn’t “waiting” be “expectation”? Couldn’t I live each moment expecting that I will see Him in it? That I will learn more about Him in it?
The psalmist did. He wrote, “For You I wait all the day long.”
All the day long!
Every minute lived in expectation that God will be in it!
THAT kind of expecting would affect far more than my rushed moments. It would cause me to “lift up my soul”—my whole being— to God. It would cause me to trust in Him as my complete salvation, my full purpose. It would lead, eventually, to what the psalmist calls friendship (also translated as “secret counsel”) with God (verse 14) and a deep understanding of God’s way—so, so different from ours.
Am I going to live this way—in the hurry-scurry of my middle-class suburbia, this way that leads so easily to a life that’s self-focused and blinded to others’ needs?
Or am I going to live His way?
One small step at a time, one moment leading to the next, listening closely and expectantly to the Holy Spirit’s whisper, trusting that all the moments—the small steps—add up to the everlasting path, the Way of Life.
Show me Your ways, my Lord, teach me Your paths.
And then, please, help me to walk, step by step, in Your Way.