Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wasted Time

I know what's been on your mind,
you're afraid it's all been wasted time.

~Don Henley, "Wasted Time"

A couple of weeks ago, during our last bible study meeting of the spring, the lady whose turn it was to facilitate left time at the end to share what we'd like the group to pray for this summer.  My internal search button spun quickly through all the things we have coming up, the specific concerns that wake me at night flying before my mind's eye at a dizzying rate.  There was no way I could put my finger on anything.  Every last thing is important, if not immediately then down the road.  

I had choices.  Pretend that all was fine and we were peachy keen?  Mention one specific thing, forgetting all else?  Try to gloss over the high points?  

And then it hit me.  The thing that I'd like for these dear ladies to intercede on my behalf in pursuit of was simply that I would enjoy the summer.  

On the face, it sounds terribly simple and maybe shallow and selfish.  And maybe it is.  

The thing is, days too often drag in monotony, frustration, and fatigue, but years fly.  

In the past few weeks, I've been blessed to hold two relatively newborn babies.  Both of them curled up on my shoulder just like Ryan, Richie, and Maelynn did once.  They stretched, cooed, yawned, fussed, and made all the same little baby sounds that my babies did.  My kids are definitely not tiny babies anymore.  I can still life Richie and Maelynn easily, but Ryan is quite a strain.  Gone are the days of having my dear newborns curled on my shoulder, sweetly sleeping away the hours.  

I'm sorry to say that I haven't always enjoyed them. 

I've even wished away time, spouting things like, "Well, I'll sure be happy when _____________ is over."  Insert what you want.  So many things fit there.  When marching season is over and Eric's home more, when we're through with diapers, when we've paid off this that or the other.  

Why do I think the deferment of my enjoyment of life is appropriate?  I must think it is, or I wouldn't respond that way.  And there are certainly times when looking forward to something or the end of something is appropriate and encouraged.  But to groan and detest every little monotonous thing about life, to have decided that my only job is to complain about what I don't have now or how hard it is right now, placing my hope in the shaky foundation of what might, maybe, happen tomorrow is no longer enough.  

No, I'm not asking the ladies of the bible study to pray that I'll have a happy, sugary-sweet, problem and worry free summer.  I'm asking for what I want.  What I want is to live, not just be alive. 

I don't want to just be happy all the time.  That is a naive expectation at best.  

Instead, I want to make the best of it all.  

Yes, so much of life with autism is hard.  Stressful.  Frustrating.  But I don't want to live life just with autism.  

I want to live life with Ryan.  Richie.  Maelynn.  Eric.  

I want to see their smiles, hear their laughter, and feel their hugs.  

I want to not be scared to try again when things go wrong.  

I certainly don't want to get so drowned in what is going wrong that I am blinded to all that is going right.

I want marching season, drumline camp, and school to roll around again knowing that we did our best this summer.  That we took time to draw with the kids on the sidewalk, and listened to their descriptions of their drawings.  

I want to live this summer and every other season rooted in the sovereignty of God and the peace and joy... the deep end of happy... that come with it.  The kind of joy that can feel and deal with sad when it comes, knowing it will all be alright eventually.  

Because they are far too precious for it to be wasted time.  

Thanks be to God for the ones with whom I share this life, and certainly for those who pray... and for true joy.

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