Tuesday, September 5, 2017

“ETA Tonight???”

Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on...Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” 
(Matthew 6:25-34, ESV)

Do you ever get loving texts from your spouse at the end of a long day? I sure do, in fact, my wife is great about it, and many times they include truly heartfelt sentiments, such as “Hope you had a great day,” “Love you and grateful for you,” “Thank you for all your help.” My favorite, however, is the most simple of all, and one I received the very night I’m writing this: “ETA tonight?” It just so happens to be a work night for me, which being a teacher during the school year, is both dreaded yet extremely needed. However, it can put stress on my normally love-texting spouse, especially since it means she’s the one taking our special needs child to one of a million therapies. Of course, it always seems like there are a million therapies on the calendar. The problem is the school year has started again, and with it, a new calendar; one for my school year, one for my fellow teacher-spouse, and one for my son, both for school, and for the million after school therapies. Just thinking about it makes me shiver. I can’t help but wonder when my next legitimate break might be, but I can’t get too distracted, because I’ve gotten that most heartfelt of all texts... “ETA Tonight?”

Let’s be serious, we all treasure our moments of space and quiet we get in those select few times. Currently, as I sit in the relative solitude of our local public library, a comfortable chair and work table facing a window with a view of the local creek that meanders through our town, cup of coffee at the ready and wifi stream overflowing, I consider how wonderful this is...for me. But then, the loving text about ETA rolls in, and I’m reminded, first of all, of the reality of the time I have, which is not very long. My focus then turns to my wife, who is at home tonight with our son; who is right now at this very moment helping to get him to bed, going through all of our nightly rituals, beginning to fight the good fight to achieve sleep for my son, but without me. Then I begin to think, Does she need some help? Is my son not in a great mood tonight? And is she taking the brunt of his anger and frustration? Is she at her wits end and needing me to come to her aid? 

Slowly, I take a sip or three from my cup. I take one last affectionate look at the You Tube video I was half watching. I close the riveting binder of math curriculum I was excitedly working on. And I stop thinking of myself, and instead think of my spouse, and my son; how that simple two-word phrase texted to me is enough to get me to move out of my comfort zone, and in doing so, bringing comfort to those I love.

Pray: Lord Jesus, we thank you for reminding us that we are your children and your people. In the midst of our ever-stressful and busy lives, remind us to throw off the shackles of anxiety this world often binds us in. Give us the peace and stillness to know that you are present during the storms of our lives and that you guide the storms for your purpose -- our ultimate good. Let us be willing to lift up our loved ones with this knowledge in their times of trouble. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. My husband used to get these texts from me (he works from home now ;). Thanks for recognizing the enormity of this text from your wife and what it means. My husband was terrific about it too.