By Lesli Nolen
Published September 2011
I don’t know about you, or other women out there, but there are times I feel as if I am carrying the world on my shoulders. I wake up, get Sky up and get her ready for school, get myself to work, pick Sky up from school, take her to art lessons, help her with homework, cook, clean, do laundry, pay the bills, smile, give hugs and make sure everything is going according as planned. Take dog to groomers, sweep, dust, mop, etc. I have all these imaginary balls I’m juggling throughout my day and if you stop one of them, they will all come crashing down. Sometimes I feel like I, “live way too often on the spin cycle of life and am wound around the wringer.”
I read that statement the other day in one of my daily devotions and thought, wow that is my life. I am constantly on the spin cycle. Picking up the house, watering the flowers, taking out the trash, cleaning the car, working, kissing a bee-boo—the list goes on and on. Then you add the social and church volunteer schedule in there and before too long I am completely wrapped around the spindle wrong and twisted way out of shape.
Then my words become harsh, my fuse is shortened, my attitude is mean and I am just ready to blow; just like an overloaded washing machine. You know when you have too many clothes in the washing machine and it’s on the spin cycle you hear that clanging and banging sound? That noise is telling you there are too many clothes in there and that’s caused the machine to get out of balance. Well if you’re like me you sigh as you hurriedly stomp your way in there to fix it, as if you don’t have anything else better to do. You open the lid, move the clothes around, close the lid and wait to see if it’s going to happen again. I am just like that unbalanced washing machine when I overload my life.
If we really knew our machine and what it could handle, we wouldn’t over load it. And if I really knew myself and what I could handle, I wouldn’t over load myself either. I don’t think I ever realized everything I try to get done in a day. I have never stopped to think about how much I take on, the heaviness of my load, how fast I want to get it done, how far I go to try and just how overloaded my machine really is. I measure my life by what I can get done in a day. If I don’t check off everything on my list then I feel I have failed in some way or another. But I haven’t; I just haven’t figured out my capacity yet.
Before my shortened fuse blows and ugly words fill my mouth I have to know what I can handle. I have to measure out my loads and evenly disperse out my dirty laundry. When I get overwhelmed with the trials of life I try—I said, I try—to switch to the gentle or delicate cycle. In other words I put my focus on God. When I do that I become more heaven minded rather than earthly minded.
Heaven isn’t counted in seconds or minutes; a day is not measured in hours. There isn’t a list of chores to get done in a certain amount of time. 2nd Peter 3:8 states, “But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.” Wow a thousand years—that would be great. Well probably not. I would end up piling something into all that extra time and end up being more overloaded.
Life happens and it happens fast. I have written numerous times about where the time goes. Everyone seems so busy all the time. I see at least one driver a day running a red light. I see someone walking faster than me in the grocery store. I see people on their phones constantly, even at the dinner table. The newest technology is only a click away, or a push of a button. We have become accustomed to a world of instantaneous results. But we can control how fast we run our lives. We control how much we pile into our washing machine. When we focus on what God wants us to accomplish in our lives our time becomes more simplified. He will help carry the load.
I have recently learned a new way to do laundry. I sort out the duties of the day, decided what really needs to get done, talk to God and ask what He wants to do today and what He wants me to do. When I do that it’s amazing how much time I have to get everything done. I have time to fold the clothes, do the dishes, take out the trash and I have time to spend with our Creator.
Remember, you are not promised tomorrow and it’s the here and now that matters most. So next time you feel like you’re on the spin cycle of life, switch it over to the gentle cycle, slow down and enjoy the ride!