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  • Sarah Raad

Quitting

Sometimes, quitting is the most important thing…

The Prince of Egypt (Paul Lasaine)

The other day during one of the early weeks of the Sydney lockdown, I lost my mind for a couple of hours. I literally lost my mind.


I had not left my home for a literal week. I was losing work with the transition back to online. I was home-schooling three very unwilling children (who almost had me entirely convinced that I know nothing about modern education – despite my chosen career). I was maintaining all my pre-lockdown domestic duties – all the same cooking and cleaning and washing and all that other stuff that I had always done – except now, nobody left the house at all, so the amount of housework was growing at an exponential rate! And to top it all off, I was feeling really unwell…


And it all built up to a point, where I simply lost my mind.


Now, I am in no way implying that I was doing more than any other mother in the same situation as me – but at the time, what I was doing was just too much for my tiny little mind to handle on that day and at that time…

And I was simply overwhelmed… And so, I did what any self-respecting mother would do under those circumstances… For a couple of hours that day, I simply quit!

I quit my job – I left my papers on my desk – unactioned. I quit my children – I left them sitting at their desks with the work in front of them – unsupervised. I quit my housework – I left the washing up in the kitchen sink – unwashed…


And being a newly freed-up woman, who had recently quit all her responsibilities, I took my nice hot cup of tea outside and sat in my front garden bed – like a crazy lady – drinking it calmly and quietly, while throwing myself a well-earned pity party.


I only spent about an hour out there that morning attending to my own peace of mind in the nice quiet garden bed in front of my house. And frankly, it was the nicest time I have had since my husband took me out for breakfast in June – prior to lockdown – to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary… Clearly, I do not get out much at the best of times!


But I have been reflecting on the freedom that this action of quitting bought me.


You see I did not really quit at all… After my pity-party was over, I came back into my house – there is not really anywhere to run during a lockdown anyway – and attended to my work, and supervised my children, and washed up the dishes… And at the end of the day, everything returned to order – except perhaps a little of my pride…

And so, I have been reflecting on this quitting – this stepping away – over the last few weeks. And I wonder, in whose footsteps I could try to follow…

After all, the Israelites spent 40 years wandering the wilderness in search of the Promised Land on a journey that should have taken a mere 6 weeks. During that time, they could not work. They could not build houses. They could not trade their goods. During that time, they could not farm their land. They were lost in the wilderness. Surely, they felt that they had moved out of the frying pan and into the fire, so to speak. Surely, they wondered whether slavery in Egypt was superior to being lost in the wilderness… And yet, while they were lost in the desert – their food was provided to them, their path was opened to them, and they were cleansed. And when they finally arrived at the Promised Land – some 39 years, 10 months and 2 weeks after the time that they could have arrived had they arrived in their time and not God’s – He cleared the way for them and they were ready to get on with the show…


Later, Saint Paul wandered in the desert for three years following his conversion on the Road to Damascus. He had things to learn, and God wanted him to spend some time learning them, it seems.


But even before that, there was Christ. For my Beloved spent time alone. He went out to pray. He left the crowds and He quit for a moment so that He could commune with God…


Because sometimes – just sometimes – quitting is the most important thing!


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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