“God made the world for the delight of human beings—if we could see His goodness everywhere, His concern for us, His awareness of our needs: the phone call we’ve waited for, the ride we are offered, the letter in the mail, just the little things He does for us throughout the day. As we remember and notice His love for us, we just begin to fall in love with Him because He is so busy with us—you just can’t resist Him.” —Mother Teresa
I think we underestimate the awesomeness of clocks.
Last week was a pretty hectic week for me. I did my normal four-day work routine, and then threw an 8–5 babysitting gig + six extra hours at the desk on top of it. I got to bed pretty late the night before I hung out with my little charge, on account of the joyful occasion of Gracie + Gracie’s family’s arrival in Tuscaloosa, which called for a little foregone sleep and some late-night catching up. Friday morning, I showed up a little bleary-eyed, coffee in hand, to hang out with the baby. The baby was still asleep.
All morning long, we played, and I imagined what life might be like as a two-year-old human. Awesomeness aside (“Finished with blocks? Okay, COLORING time!), I thought about how it must be to constantly be at the mercy—and under the rule—of someone else. It was a constant guidance-offering dialogue between the two of us: “Come here! / Do you want juice? [<-- Leading question, am I right?] / Get your shoes! / Oops! Let’s pick up the Cheerios! / No, don’t climb on that . . . no, don’t eat that. / Let’s take a nap!” My little friend had no problem admitting that all of the come-here-let’s-go-outside-do-you-want-to-read-a-book business was exhausting. “Sleepy,” he said. “Me too,” I agreed.
Even then, I didn’t get the importance of appreciating a good nap (or a clock), even though curling up with a baby who croons, “Pretty. Love.” as he strokes your face is a swell blessing anyway. When I was cleaning up Little Boy after lunch, he got really tickled about the clock on the wall; we were at his house, so I assumed it was a clock he saw often, but nonetheless, it was the best thing we’d seen all day: “Clock! CLOCK! Cloooooock!” I shrugged. “Yeah, clock. Cool, huh? It tells the time. Hold still, buddy.”
Janie + Katie (together) and Norm (simultaneously) were passing through New York last weekend. I was kept up-to-date on Big Apple happenings.
“You gotta see the New York skyline!” Norman said.
“I’m in a five-story bookstore!” Janie said.
“Clock! Cool clock!” The baby squealed. I shook my head. “It’s just a clock!”
Later, I packed up my little buddy in a wagon, complete with juice and Cheerios, and we strolled in the sun down a path by the lake. Everything—and I do mean everything—was wonder-full. “Airplane! Bird! GRASS!” I laughed; I was beginning to understand. There is wonder in most everything; there’s wonder anywhere you look: the New York City skyline; the clock on the wall; the magic airplane. We should really be swept up by the contraptions roaring through the sky, balancing on gusts and carrying live people here and there and everywhere. When you’re two years old, it blows your mind: “WHY is that not falling down?” When you’ve seen your fair share of airplanes, it’s not something to write home about: “Mmhmm. Airplane. Hey, you dropped your juice.” It was a knowing look my little friend gave me; “Hey lady, would you notice the airplane? And how about that clock? It tells the time.”
It was the next day, after I’d finished my shift at the desk and received my weekend allotment of hours that the little guy’s reasoning began to hit me. I was curling up on the couch mid-day, watching I Love Lucy reruns and drifting into a nap. “A nap. . . a nap is exactly what I need. There is wonder in naps.” Later, I strolled around Target, perusing nail polish colors and checking out the clearance racks (clearance bins are my favorite part of Target after the ready access to Starbucks) and talking on the phone with my mom. I sipped a latte. I went home and did some yoga, and made some dinner, and started a new book. And I noticed how these things, tiny in comparison to the hustle and bustle of NYC, these little things that aren’t always on my “Notice me!” list began to perk me up. It had been a long week, but one nap at a time, I was regaining my energy. Not to mention all the clocks.
This week has been a string of technological fails: a computer that doesn’t connect (It won’t let me do anything!), a fuzzy Skype session (What. did. you. say? One. more. time.), a text message’s subject confused (No, I meant. . . ). The wires that string us together often get twisted, and we’re left frustrated: It should work! / This is the 21st century. / I have stuff to do. / What time is it? / I’m late. I breathe. Look at all the clocks. I mean, trees.
A breath caught in joy.
Some things never get old; some things are worth your minutes. Some things string you along when wires fail, when you’re 1,000 miles away from the people who spin your world, when you’re exhausted and you just don’t want to be subject to any more clocks. Sometimes we forget to notice some things.
dreams coming true
moments being noticed
souls being loved
I didn’t go to New York City; I’ve been hanging out behind a desk. I haven’t seen a lot of things, but I’ve seen clocks. I’ve seen airplanes. I’ve seen the sky, blooming with pinks and oranges, whispering and yelling at the same time, “You, you, you. I love you.” And I love Him, the Bearer of all good and perfect things (naps/lattes/babies.)
“The world’s a huge stockpile of God-wonders and God-thoughts. Nothing and no one comes close to You! I start talking about You, telling what I know, and quickly run out of words. Neither numbers nor words account for You.” —Psalm 40:5