I’m sitting on the floor of the kitchen, eyeballing the tiles. Can’t even remember why I came down here. Something to do with floor cleaner. Don’t worry – it’s quite pleasant. No floor cleaning is happening. But the view is illuminating. For starters, the bottom of my cupboards are covered in brown stuff. There’s a sock under the fridge. And a spider across the way who looks a bit freaked out. Hello my hairy friend. I mean you no harm.
Normally, the way I deal with mental clutter is to tidy the physical clutter. But not today. The house is a tip – and so is my brain. Drawers overflowing with pants and thoughts.
I’m having a go at ‘just being’. It’s hard work. My brain’s like a rocket, charging off to organise dinner and check facebook. Come back here, right this minute. And stay there.
I was reading this morning about Jesus sleeping during a massive storm. I haven’t been sailing since I puked my guts up on the Larne-Cairnryan ferry. But I know how it feels to be rocked by waves. And like the disciples, I try to take charge. The way I cope is by doing stuff. Transferring the internal to the external. Cleaning and fussing and staying busy and ticking off tasks. Internally I’m fuming ‘Lord – don’t you care if I drown?’ But when everything else fails, when my brain fries and I melt into an exhausted puddle, I’m forced to turn back to Jesus. His words that still the storm, not my lists.
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ 41 They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’ (Mark 4:39-41)
I’m still overwhelmed. But when I get back to marvelling, “Who is this?” – it’s not my worries that knock me over: it’s a Person.