On the 7th day, God rested. Why don’t you?

Turningpoint1SCB-0043.jpgThe universe has funny ways of delivering its messages.

For years, I knew I was on the wrong track, but was unable or unwilling to change course.  The signs were everywhere, but I  either missed them because I was moving too fast, or ignored them because I didn’t want to acknowledge what they were telling me.

“Oh, you don’t go in for the subtle whispers of the heart, huh? That’s okay, sweetie. The universe has ways of making you stop and pay attention.”

STOP.

How many times have I been stopped in my tracks by someone or something that I didn’t see coming?

Some of life’s biggest turning points are like that: you’re going along, minding your own business, when bam! Something hits you out of the blue and knocks down the carefully constructed edifice of your life, like a child might kick over a tower of Legos.  Those structures that seemed so sturdy, the little details that took you years to get just right…it’s all gone, just like that.

There are other kinds of turning points that we see coming a long way off. They are weeks, months, or years in the making. A high school graduation. A wedding. A terminal illness. A divorce.

When life throws you for a loop, when the fractures hidden in your depths become full-blown fissures, sometimes there is only one action that makes sense:

STOP.

I was reminded of that lesson this week. Just in time for the busy holiday season, at precisely the moment when I can least afford to take time out to rest, I have come down with some kind of virus or something-or-other that has completely knocked me down. I am so sick I want to cancel Christmas and sleep, non-stop, from now until January 10.

Isn’t there a Christmas poem about a guy who settles down for a long winter’s nap? Remember that one? He’s wearing a cap, and Ma is wearing a kerchief. (I am certain of that part. Who can forget a woman wearing a kerchief?) They’ve settled down for this nap, and everything is going along just fine. Then bam! Reindoor on the roof!! Saint Nick is in the house!!!

This poor guy was sleeping, and all of a sudden there’s a clatter, and something’s the matter, and he has to throw up the sash, which sounds pretty terrible.

We’re supposed to be happy for him, because lo and behold, when he opens his window, ho, ho, ho, there’s jolly old Saint Nick, with a fat sack of toys on his back.

Christmas is a bulb that burns too brightly at times.  These are the moments I want to skip the dashing and prancing, and stop the story at “nap.” The universe, in its infinite wisdom, found a funny way to deliver the gift of  sleep to me this season.  Slow down, it has been whispering to me. I refused to listen. No matter, the universe said. We have ways of bringing you to a STOP.

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