Sunday, April 06, 2003

"Sometimes I sits and thinks. Sometimes I just sits." I don't know why I remember that saying engraved on a wooden plaque in a Ozark souvineer shop when I was a kid. But I do. I didn't understand. How can you "just sit"? I mean... how can you just sit without thinking? How can you do anything without thinking? To turn off your brain is an impossibility. To suspend your predisposal to be the one directing it is almost as hard.

Now, at the age of 47, I think I've got it. I have it figured out. It has taken approximately 3,650 Xanax tablets, over 100,000 milligrams of Zoloft, thousands of dollars in medical bills, and a whole world of patience. Oh, and some pain. Yeah. Pain.

But here's the deal. I was playing with my Pocket PC today. Really... not working. Just playing. And I got bored. How many games of Solitare can you play before your brain shuts off? I sat for about 5 minutes and then... BLINK... the unit turned itself off. Hmm. I don't usually sit around long enough for that to happen. I run a program, read an article, or make an appointment note, and then I turn it off. But this time I didn't and it turned itself off for me. I knew it would do that. I had read it in the instructions. But this was the first time I saw it happen while I was staring at the screen. When the Pocket PC turned off... my brain turned back on. A game of electromagnetic tag. That was a revelatory moment for me. I realized for the first time that everything is built to turn off occasionally. A car cannot run forever. You have to turn it off, gas it up, rotate the tires, maybe put in new spark plugs, and then it will run again. If you don't do those things it will die an early death. A computer has to stop and recharge its battery. It must be "de-fragged" and viruses must be rooted out. Then she's ready to recompute. Why should I be any different?

Not too long ago I "blinked off." I had done a lot of work. Things had been really, really, busy. Craziness abounded. When it all slowed down for a little bit I forgot how to recharge. I couldn't find a way... a place... to plug in and recharge. And honestly, I forgot that I was suppose to. And then one day I just... shut down. I might as well have been a 1965 Rambler in the Indy 500. I wasn't going anywhere. I HAD to sit. But I never stopped thinking. I thought too much. I struggled to understand, I wrestled in prayer, and I read and studied in order to get well. It didn't help. None of it made any difference.

And then God told me what to do. He told me to stop. Just stop. He told me to be quiet. Stop wrestling. Stop studying. Just stop. And I did. I found a place and I didn't talk. I sat. I walked. I listened. I stopped. And when I did I learned that God was there. Sometimes He spoke to me and I heard Him. Most often He did not tell me to do anything. He just revealed things to me that He wanted me to know. Those things quietly changed my life. They rearranged my understanding of what life is about. They gave me my soul back.

I'm talking too much again lately. Worse yet, I am thinking too much. I am not doing enough sitting, walking, and listening. But today God turned my Pocket PC off... and I remembered. Sometimes I sits and thinks. But I think... for awhile at least.... I'll just sits.