By LIBBO CROSSWHITE
The gift of time
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” – Mark 4:35-40
As I sit here during my all-too-brief alone time during newly mandated nap time, I am at a loss for words and having difficulty placing my current emotions. I want so badly for fear not to reign in our current state. The truth of the matter is that when/if you read this month’s article, it will be sometime around April 1 — a day that quite honestly seems a lifetime away at this point, day four of my 14-day self-imposed quarantine.
I’m a homeschool mom now — something I never would have thought I would be. I also cook and clean my house out of boredom. This is for sure an alternate universe from my life four days ago.
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has somewhat dominated our actions and conversations over the last couple weeks. Honestly, I wept after my church live-streamed their service on March 15 and got teary-eyed on a conference call with my coworkers earlier. I miss everything already.
And yet, I am reminded that so many times when I laid my head down at night after an impossibly long day full of tasks, errands, practices, homework and activities, I would whisper, “I just wish everything could slow down.”
The fact of the matter is, everything has slowed down. And I mean EVERYTHING.
So often in the fourth nine weeks of the school year, I am overwhelmed and exhausted with all of the events that occur. I talk with senior parents often who speak to the fact that they just wish time would slow down. They want to be able to soak up the last few weeks with their senior, but their schedule simply does not allow for that.
And now. It does.
I’m not belittling the real danger that many Americans are in. I am also aware of the fact that by the time this article publishes, new and different difficulties have probably reared their heads. However, the same Jesus who calmed the sea for the disciples can and will do that for us now in these uncertain storms. It was the message our preacher preached on Sunday, and one that I desperately need to continue to remind myself of: “Quiet. Be still!”
Now, more than ever, God has given us that chance. The chance to take the time to have our kindergartner read to us, and more than once. The mid-morning snuggles that take place because the alarm clock is not sounding, and the car isn’t already cranked before anyone is dressed or ready. We are in uncharted territory in terms of time — for the first time in my seven years of motherhood, I have an abundance of it. No meetings, no obligations, just time.
I pray that I continue to keep that the focus of my heart in the days ahead. Thank you, Lord, for time. For time with myself in Your Word to remind me that fear is not the outflow of my heart in this moment, and time making up games to play with my family on hour two of what seems like 40 in the day. My comforts and obligations have been for the most part stripped away; however, the truth still remains: God is able. God is in control. God has ordained this time, in the joy and in the suffering, for His ultimate glory.
Libbo Haskins Crosswhite and her husband, Clay, live in Madison and attend Pinelake. They have one daughter, Mary Thomas, who is 6 years old, and a son, Russell, who is 4 years old. She is the high school guidance counselor at Madison- Ridgeland Academy and can be emailed at email@example.com.