We were in Disney World, me and four children.
We laughed, had hotdogs, did the rides, had the best day ever, until we strolled away from the ghost train and I suddenly discovered that we were me and three children. When did we last see the four-year old?
I grabbed an attendant who stopped the ride and searched the train, no little boy.
An alert was made, and I was told to go back the way we came, back to the entrance.
More running than walking down a little hill we saw people assembled at a plaza, I feared the worst and forced my way through the crowd, children in hand.
There he was, like a bird in a cage, running back and forth, crying, not hearing any of the kind voices trying to reach him, not seeing any of the ways out, just running.
He did not hear me either. I crouched down, in the middle of the square, stretched my arms wide open and caught him in an embrace when he whisked by.
He collapsed, shaking, sobbing: “I did not know what to do!”
We sorted it out, we celebrated the reunion, we had a tale to tell when my husband came home from work.
I am often reminded of this day though, every time panic is almost taking control.
Every time I hear my own fretful voice:” I do not know what to do!”
Then I stop my self, just before I start running in circles, doing everything, trying anything, working up a frenzy.
Just then I tell myself, If you really do not know what to do, it is probably best to do nothing.
Not forever, not never doing anything, just now. Relax, breath, stop.
If there really is not anything you can do, the best thing is to do that, nothing.
If there should be a thing you can do, one tiny step in the mess you are in, you’ll have to be real quiet to find it.
More often than not there are things we could do, there are things we should do, and in hard times the way forward will take strength, integrity and effort.
Perhaps our running about is just the lazy way of spending our strength in a way that does not demand anything? It is easier to wring our hands, cry, do a lot of activity and then say to everybody I am totally exhausted, and there is nothing more I can do. Everybody would sympathize with that, poor you, you have done everything you could have done.
No one will be willing to say, perhaps you did the wrong things, perhaps you wasted your energy doing pointless things, when your strength was given you for the task only you could do?
I think that is what God is doing. Looking down on the earth he sees us running about, busy, busy, and he wonders, did I not tell them clearly what is important? And he does it again: In quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15). Not never to do anything, just now to do nothing, nothing else than stop, wait and trust.