After weeks (months?) of nightly activities for one or more family members, we found ourselves all at home at dinner time last night. What once was a nightly routine has become a special occasion. Sports and dance, school events, work travel schedules and church meetings infiltrated our home like a houseguest who never really gives a leave-by date, forcing us to make do each day with splintered routines and fluid timetables. Despite our best efforts to keep scheduling and activities to a minimum, we failed and found ourselves at the mercy of an overloaded calendar, working just as hard during the evenings as we do during the day.
We were all feeling scattered and disjointed, or maybe it was just me. I crave routine and order and function better that way. When things are up in the air, I can’t seem to get my feet on the ground or keep my head from spinning. Almost everything around here has been half-done lately.
I think the kids were unbalanced, too, because they haven’t been sleeping well. They haven’t been eating well either, and they’ve been distracted and withdrawn. “Off-time” is spent vegetating in front of the TV or playing video games. They have so much “on-time” that I let them.
So last night, the kids’ activities were cancelled and my husband had a meeting, but it was later. So I made dinner, set the table, and planned time to eat together.
We sat, ate, and talked. About school, our day, friends and family, what we would be doing this summer. We talked about the food. We talked about our new phone service. We talked about the next school year and how things might be different.
One of the kids asked about Adam and Eve. Were they really the first humans, what did they look like, how long did it take for God to make the world and all the animals, where do the dinosaurs fit in. We talked about God’s timing and how we learn that one thousand years are a day to him, and a day is one thousand years. We said that was where faith comes in; to trust that God did what he said he did, and that we don’t know the order in which he made Triceratops and T-Rex and modern-day cats and dogs.
We talked about if God always was and always will be, then he surely is older than our earth, so why did he take so long to make the earth? We talked about how do we know that what we really look like is what we see in the mirror? We talked about how do we know that we are ourselves, and that we don’t trade places with each other from time to time? We asked each other if we really have four eyes instead of just two.
We laughed and said our heads hurt with these questions.
We touched base. And it was relaxing, and fun, and just what we needed.
And today is another day, and the calendar is empty.
Thank you, God, for moments spent together. Help us to focus on the love we have for you and for each other. Amen.