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When the Frenzy of Fall Already Has You Woozy

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Motion Sickness = A feeling of unease caused by movement and its relationship to our natural sense of balance.

To look up, you’d never know it.

The wonderlands, the wide open spaces of summer are shuttering for the season. Mornings of surprise visitors and spontaneous romps. Afternoons when you couldn’t escape the sun and its lazy spell if you tried. Days with less obvious boundaries, whispering, “Play hooky.”

Yeah, they’re pretty much gone.

But if I stare at the sky that fills two-thirds of my vision, still strong and blue, I might be persuaded nothing has changed.

Below the sky, Fall roams like Midas, gilding my world with invisible fingers. Boundaries shoot up seemingly overnight. Chilly mornings and evenings bookend my days. The school schedule on the side of the fridge demands our household conform. Every. Day.

Frenzy builds. Outside my door, the hum grows as mom-traffic has rejoined the work-traffic and everyone has to be somewhere, then somewhere else, then somewhere else, and that’s a good thing, we repeat like a mantra, ‘cuz boundaries are good and part of us has been missing this.

Just don’t forget to look up, I coach myself.

Because when my sights are set on the winding path before me, soon all I see is that I am in motion, but I’m never going to get there on time because There is not a fixed point. And just the thought of potential obstacles makes me anxious. I mean, just think of all the what-ifs . . .

What if I can’t keep up with it all and I let people down? What if our daughter’s illness makes a comeback? What if that noise in the car means impending doom? What if we can’t pay the bills?

Here’s what we’re told when we’re riding in a car on a too-swervy road, feeling woozy: Find a fixed point. Stare at it.

Seasick? Look at the distant horizon rather than the water close by.

The wide, blue sky has me feeling anchored today, reminding me of what is steady and true. True about God, true about me, true about what matters in my day. And when I’m anchored, anxieties naturally dissolve.

I think of what CS Lewis said: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

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A friend and I are muddling through the same parenting season, and we need constant reminders to take the long view. To stare at the fixed point. I don’t even remember how it got started, but we regularly text each other random psalms and verses that renew our perspectives and fan our faith. It’s become an unofficial arrangement on which we both depend.

My sister and I text random encouragements to each other also. Yesterday, she sent Psalm 94:19:

In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

I passed it along to my friend. A while later, she returned with this:

On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide his face, I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

As our daily demands swell and fears churn around us, let’s keep reminding each other to choose a fixed point–the fixed point, our solid rock and soul anchor. Jesus Christ.

And let’s keep our eyes peeled on the horizon, knowing, as believers, our future inheritance is secure. 

Just because we don’t have our sea legs, it doesn’t mean the ship’s not aright.

Hallelujah!

[This post originally appeared in September 2015, under the title “When the Frenzy of Fall’s Got You All Woozy (After Only 2 Weeks)”]

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