There is a piano playing in my ears. Now, a violin. Together they weave, brushing stillness in front of them. When I woke this morning my one year old daughter, Brielle, was already running around my room. I think I heard the violin then. And she doesn’t quite run, she more or less waddles in fast motion—throwing her arms back and forth, giggling. Yes, she is definitely the violin.
Already my communication device was blinking. More messages. The day had invaded my room with a strobing green light.
"When is the project going to be finished?"
"Are you going to be editing this soon?"
"You were just charged for an overdraft."
Thanks world. Now get out of my room.
In the shower the piano plays and the scalding water opens my veins. Thoughts flood into my brain carrying the residue of last night’s dreams. I can’t help thinking about the emails and the one project I knew was a mistake to do.
"God, what should I do?"
A cello joins the mix. The bow saws slowly. The strings lament. Is it the voice of God or my dreams? A mix of fear and anxiety stir with my coffee, my mind can’t stop thinking about the pressures of the day. My mind also can’t stop thinking that it’s been too long since I sat and reflected on exactly what I am doing. Have I really pondered the reason’s for taking the “bur project”?
So I retreat upstairs, away from my three year old and one year old, away from the in-laws and my wife who are busy getting ready to go outside or on a walk or playing in their tent. I must find not an escape but presence. A presence of mind and a centering.
The Poet-King David wrote: Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.
In the frustration and confusion of not knowing what to do, the best thing I can do is be still; to reflect; to pray. I know that if I can just sit and listen the violin and the piano and the cello will make sense of it all. And peace in a decision will emerge.
Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.