Lessons From An Empty Calendar

Just over a year ago, when it became evident the calendar would be staying “empty” longer than originally thought, my prayer was that although my calendar was empty, we might experience fullness. Not a fullness from busyness but rather a fullness from fellowship – with the Lord – and with one another. 

Now as life seems to pick up pace as abruptly as it skidded to a halt over a year ago, my prayer remains the same. This time, however, that the lessons learned in the quiet and “empty” spaces of the past year would remain: that I would STILL linger. 

From April 2020
Perhaps like you, as I look at my empty calendar, thoughts run through my head of what “should be,” what “usually is,” and what is “wished for.”  I don’t think I have ever seen such empty squares!  Yet the truth of the empty calendar is this: that which seemed repetitive and mundane when this all began has actually become a gift. Some of the greatest paradoxes of the pandemic that we have personally experienced are the simultaneous existence of heartache and joy, grieving and blessing, the thought of everything being so different yet everything being exactly how it should be: nightly family dinners, slower paced living, lingering just a little longer in the presence of a family member, which our full schedules don’t often permit. And the greatest gift…lingering with the Savior. And this leads to a startling revelation: this may be the only time I can pray, “Keep me from having a Martha heart in a Mary world.” The concept from the well-known book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, has been flipped upside down with just about everything else in the world these days. And I realize my greatest longing is not for my calendar to return to “normal” but rather, “Lord, let me linger.” Yes, let me linger with my family at the dinner table, let me linger over a child’s school lesson, let me linger on a phone call to a loved one, but most of all let me linger with my Lord. Keep me, Lord, from having a busy, anxious Martha heart in the slow paced Mary world of today. May I linger.


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