Ever have that feeling like things are just spinning out of control? Almost like juggling china plates that are ornate, beautiful, and delicate? There is a rhythm to it that seems manageable and exciting. From onlookers, it is awe inspiring and fun. In reality, it feels like you are juggling breakable plates, because you are.
This was me on Monday, just keeping it real.
It is summer and a time known for taking a break. In ministry, and in most families, I don’t know that they really break during summer. There are summer camps, jobs, sports practices, family vacations, summer reading, driver's ed classes, holiday fireworks, signups for school, family visiting, and, oh yeah, tons of free time to do unique things with friends you can’t do during the school year. This constant juggling leaves parents, and teens, often ready for the habit and schedule of a predictable fall back at school. We almost need a vacation from our vacation.
On Monday, I sat across the table from a mentor and friend discussing all of this. All I could think is I need to let a plate drop. In the moment, all I could think of is the horrible sound of a beautiful plate hitting the hard ground and the crashing noise. As horrible as that sounded, I then was reminded about the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and them ceremoniously dropping plates on the ground and how much fun it was! Maybe letting a plate drop isn’t the worst thing in the world. In fact, it may be fun.
I am not saying to step down from your post as a mom, quit your job, or be irresponsible. What I am saying is that we have to look at the plates we juggle and decide which ones are worth juggling — and which ones need to drop.
This summer, maybe you need to drop the plate, and only have one out of town guest dinner a week. Perhaps it is letting your child only go on one out of town trip a month. Maybe it is saying that sports don’t get in the way of your family worshipping together, so if it is happening on a Sunday, then sorry — your family worships. You may see your child struggling and feeling overwhelmed with summer reading and decide that for today that plate is dropping and tomorrow you can pick it up again. A million things can dictate your time and energy if you let them, or you and the Lord can sit down and figure out how your time needs to be spent and make adjustments.
What does the Lord want on your plate? In Psalms 37: 23-24 it says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
Let the Lord direct your steps and how you spend your time — he gives you the hands to juggle it.
Caroline Hare is the youth minister at Destin United Methodist Church.