I sit on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, feeling the sore throat, headache and muscle pain. My body is fighting some virus while my mind occupied with the to-do list.
I could’ve taken a nap since my husband is watching the kids. But I feel like sleeping during the day is a waste of time. Productivity is what I incline towards even on sick days. I guess I’ve been shaped well by the values of modern society.
However, is resting for healing a waste of time? What is the time given us for, anyway?
In one regard, our life is measured by time. How long we will live on earth is how long our earthly life will be. However, the length of time isn’t the only way to measure our life. It’s also measured by the quality of time— how well we spend each moment? By “well-spent the moment” I don’t just mean feeling happy and enjoyable, though it could well be that, but more importantly, how engaged we are even in the face of sadness or disappointment at the moment. The quality of time is built on owning each moment, being fully present here and now, regardless of the situation.
Here I am, leaning on the couch, feeling the symptoms of my body. I’ve prayed for healing and texted my mom and friends for prayers. But at this moment, recovery may be on its way, but it hasn’t fully arrived. And the feeling of muscle pain and a terrible headache is what I’ve got at the moment.
What should I do in a moment like this? Is it possible to still make it a good time? Or, does it matter if it’s not a perceived good time? Perhaps it’s ok to feel terrible and be sick. It’s ok to do nothing but lying in bed. It’s ok just to let it be what it is without requiring it to be productive or meaningful, but to surrender into an embrace, given by grace.
My 15 months old daughter is recently sick too, with a lot of tears and running nose. Sometimes, the only way to calm her down was to hold her tightly and rock her gently. When this poor little thing finally became quiet in my arms, my purpose at that moment was fully realised— to give her my shoulder to rest her head. She is well-loved without doing anything to earn it, but to be herself in her most needy, vulnerable state.
I’m Someone’s daughter too. I was my dad’s girl when he was alive. His affectionate love shaped who I am today and his death left me desperately wanting. A year later, I came to know God. Our Father in heaven. And it changed everything. I became Someone’s daughter again, which means I am held when I can’t hold onto a to-do list, or seize the moment to make it meaningful (according to me). It also means I can rest on my Father’s shoulder as who I am in my most needy and vulnerable state and be loved.
Perhaps the quality of time is less about how we feel but more about the unconditional love we take and give, breathe in and out. Maybe the value we can produce (or not) moment by moment doesn’t define our lives’ intrinsic value. If the most Valuable Being of the Universe exchanged His life for ours, what else can we add to make our lives more worthwhile?
Maybe you are unwell right now. Perhaps you’ve been sick for a long time. I pray for healing for you, my friend. I also pray that you will experience His tender, comforting, sweet, refreshing love so profoundly today.
I’ve decided to take a nap. Maybe you can have one too.