“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls." (The Bible, New International Version)
You know those stepometers people sometimes use to add up the number of steps you do in a day? You can go for miles without actually getting very far at all. If there was such a thing as a mumometer to measure mum-steps, it would have to calculate steps something like this:
Wake in the middle of the night and lurch sideways slightly as you are so sleepy. Feel your way to the door, hopping on the way as you kick a toy truck in the middle of the floor. Pause and kneel by a toddler bed to soothe a furrowed brow as you hunt for lost teddy in the dark. Fall asleep on your knees for a few seconds then wake up, extract a hand from small boy's and stumble back to bed.
On waking, go the extra mile and read a story before breakfast. Get downstairs, go backwards and forwards from living room to kitchen at least 7 times whilst gently encouraging and making mum comments.
You forgot to get a sticker for nice-getting-ready. Go back 10 paces...
Mum miles take longer to do but don't, unfortunately, seem to use up more calories. We do usually make progress, though, however haltingly through the day and then the sun sets, bath time is over and those little fingers are closing over yours again despite protests that it's morning already.
I like this bit from the Bible, written by someone with a message from God to his children. I like it because it specifically instructs me to stop, look around, ask if I need help and then advises me which way to go. I can take a breath and relax in the knowledge that however I get there, mum-steps or mere person-steps, as long as I stop to check every now and again that I'm headed the right direction, I can know I will be guided. I don't have to try and read a map, whilst declaring decisively that somewhere through that dense stand of ancient woodland is the car, toting a bag full of wetwipes snacks and changes of clothing. It's all signposted and someone else has already carried the baggage for me.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the old Way, the one who was there at the beginning of time with the Father and the Sprirt. The one who is there to carry my burdens, bear my sorrows, failures, regrets, despair. The one who wipes my tears and snot away, jumps up and down with me in puddles and paints pictures with me. The one who kiss me better when I fall down and picks me up when feel like a failure. The one who knows me better than a mum knows her child, even down to the last hair on my head (white or not). He knows the way because he is the way! I just have to stand at the crossroads, get my bearings, ask directions if I need them from those who've been walking along the Way longer than me - and follow.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly." Gospel of Matthew; The Message