© jb katke
Cut out from a magazine, this little sign was found in dad’s garage. It reads:
I want my own place.
A place where
I can’t be reached.
I want to be “Off Duty.”
I want to call a “Time Out.”
I want a mute button for reality.
I want to put the world on hold and tell it:
“I’ll get back to you.”
Why did dad feel the need of his own place, and does that resonate with you as much as it did him, and me?
My father lived a full life. Having a sister with mental issues, he grew up in a dysfunctional home. At the ripe old age of twelve, he was gainfully employed up until his retirement. During WWII dad served in the Navy and was stationed in Hawaii-post the Pearl Harbor attack. How tough could that have been?
He and Mom never had an overabundance of funds, but could identify those in need and addressed it to the best of their ability. They made their home open, sometimes to teens, another to an aging uncle. As my grandparents aged, Mom and Dad stepped up looking after them too. Not too long after his retirement, mom’s health took a turn and passed away.
And the Good Lord addressed their need. Before they were promoted to their eternal home, they did find that place of respite and initiated their own time out. It came in the form of a cinder block cabin smack in the middle of nothing. They reveled in their off-duty status of zero responsibilities.
Whatever era we born in, there are times we need a time out. Just as we begin to return to a normal life, pulling off our masks, we find a comeback and the mask becoming part of our wardrobe.
Have you found a place to just breathe and be? My son and his wife love the Northwoods, a niece loves the beach and sun, a friend yearns for the mountains. I have found a couple places, rolling hills bearing bales of hay that speak of a life of purpose. Another is the ocean, watching waves rise and fall, you don’t know where they come from or where they are going, but life goes on. Sometimes, just listening to leaves rustling in the breeze can be calming.
There is a place that can easily be overlooked. The words of the Good Book have so much to offer.
I will give you only one for now, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
Life can be so heavy. Acknowledging a need for divine help can go a long way; the Lord has a supernatural way of making the unbearable bearable.