Abba Poeman also said, "A man who stays in his place in life will not be troubled."You see, last night I had a dream, a troubling one, in which I awoke five times and upon falling back asleep, continued to remain in the same unconscious world. Although parts of it seem incredibly unrealistic and quite funny at first glance, there is an underlying message for me that I simply could not shake.
I was in a dirty warehouse district of sorts where there were all these spa pedicure chairs (I know, you can laugh). None of them had any water supply to the foot tubs, so I was responsible for fetching the warm water and pouring it into each basin. It would have been much easier if the water supply had been close and if I had a nice, sturdy bucket. Alas, I did not. I had to climb several flights of stairs to get to the faucets. I had only this large, flimsy plastic bag with which to carry the water, and the pedicure chairs seemed to be always moving from one building to another. I seemed to never be able to carry the water without spilling it, it was often so heavy in my arms that I dropped each bag along the way, and by the time I had arrived at the basin, the water I had remaining was cold.
I remember the mean looks of the owner and the pedicure customers. I was coming up short. No matter how I tried to get better at doing my job, I could never meet everyone's needs.
I awoke from the dream utterly exhausted. Realizing my dream and how many times I had waked during the night, I asked God:
Do you have a message for me here?
Thus, after reading this saying by Abba Poeman, I felt the very gentle, but still convicting realization hit:
I have not stayed put. I have travelled outside my place. As such, I am often troubled.
God has given me very specific people to which I am supposed to bring water. And I have gone beyond that in a way that has ended up depleting my own supply. And so, in my Sunday school class, I repented. I repented for trying to be a savior when we already have a Savior that is perfectly perfect for the job.
During the sermon after my class, my priest talked about how the busyness of our lives has distracted us from God. He then gave a visual image of a mother and her child sitting in the wide expanse of an empty field. The toddler would toddle off a short distance, always making sure that mom was still there and he was still safe within her sight. He related this to us, challenging us to not wander too far, to make sure we could always see Jesus, to stay put where we are safe in His arms. While this is a powerful message in and of itself, it had a particular impact on me, as just a few days ago my friend told me that I had made no space for myself on a regular basis. She said something along the lines of this:
There is a field, Jen. Open space for you to run free, not so constrained by the things you feel you must do.I remember the freedom within that Sabbath day I took a few weeks ago. It feels like the wide expanse of a green field, a place to run free. A place to soak up enough water to pour out again to those to which God has asked me to minister. A place where I can stay put, safe in His gaze.
Linking with Michelle at Graceful and Laura at The Wellspring.