I watch her eyes dart around, looking everywhere, except at me. I call her name, staring at her eyes, waiting for her gaze to cross mine, but it doesn’t. She’s too busy taking in everything else. There’s too much to do. She can’t stop to look at me. There will be time for that later. Right now, the colorful painting on the wall, the shadow dancing across the rug, the contrast of the stripes in the pillows on the couch, those all demand attention.
Though I’m a bit sad that I’m missing her gaze, I know that at some point she will stop and look at me. Maybe this evening when I’m rocking with her, or when I lay her down to swaddle her. She’ll look up at me and give me a big smile, her eyes lighting up as she stares into my eyes. And I’ll feel joy at seeing her sweet smile, at knowing it’s for me. I won’t be resentful that she didn’t stop to smile at me earlier. I won’t punish her for not acknowledging me sooner. I’ll soak in the moment, my heart filled with love, and smile back at her.
It reminds me of how I so often am with God. I’m the one too distracted to stop and look at Him. Not right now, there’s not time to stop and really pray, I’m too busy. Later, once I finish just one more thing. And oh, I forgot, I need to do that too. I’m sure I’ll be done soon. Planning to look at Him later, after I look at all of the other things demanding my attention. And then, I wonder, is He happy when I finally deign to look at Him? He would be fully justified in being upset that I would put aside time with Him, giving daily chores and tasks a higher priority. But if I, a sinful person, am so thrilled when my daughter stops and truly looks at me with love, how must He feel when I do fully stop, repent for pushing Him aside, and tell Him how much I love and need Him. When I stop to sit quietly, even if just for a moment, and talk with Him?
Most of my prayers are sent throughout the day, as I’m in the middle of other things. We’re told to pray constantly, so I think that’s okay, but nothing quite compares to being still in His presence. I’m making more of an effort to set aside time to just be with Him. Even if it is just a few minutes while the baby is napping and the coffee is brewing in the morning, or between loads of laundry while dinner is cooking.
When do you find quiet time?