Angie, wanting to earn some money, decided to hire herself out as a handyman-type and started canvassing a wealthy neighborhood. She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any jobs for her to do.
“Well, you can paint my porch,” he said. “How much will you charge?”
Angie said, “How about 50 dollars?” The man agreed and told her that the paint and ladders that she might need were in the garage.
The man’s wife, inside the house, heard the conversation and said to her husband, “Does she realize that the porch goes all the way around the house?”
The man replied, “She should. She was standing on the porch.” A short time later, Angie came to the door to collect her money.
“You’re finished already?” he asked.
“Yes,” she answered, “and I had paint left over, so I gave it two coats.”
Impressed, the man reached in his pocket for the $50.
“And by the way,” Angie added, “that’s not a Porch, it’s a Ferrari.” *
Remember Andy, Barney, Opie, and Aunt Bea on the front porch in the hit series, The Andy Griffith Show? I (Dawn) long for days like that. As a young girl, when my family visited my mom’s parents in Kokomo, Indiana, I loved to crawl up into the big swing on my grandparents’ wrap-around porch. I’d eat Grandma’s cherry pie and swing and swing, watching trucks drive by, and waving to Grandma’s neighbors.
Even as I think of it today, a sense of peace and rest wash over me.
There’s just something about a porch. I’ve always thought that I’m not looking for a mansion in heaven as much as a restful porch! A type-A-plus person needs a porch, I think, to unwind. Everything slows down, and conversations are simple.
Remember Andy and Barney? Their conversations went something like this:
- Andy: “Sure is hot today.”
- Barney: “Yep.”
- Andy: “But it’s a nice night and those sure are pretty stars.”
- Barney: “Yep.”
Love it, love it, love it!
My friend, Nancy DeMoss, recently read between the lines of my busy life and wrote in an email that she was sending me a CD of lullabies, Hidden in My Heart, because she sensed my over-the-top struggle with deadlines and responsibilities. I thought, Lullubies?
But she added, ” I have listened to [the CD] over and over again. The Lord has really used this CD (all songs based on Scripture) to calm my spirit, subdue rogue thoughts and emotions, and tether my heart to His Word.”
Ah … I got it. I always need help in following Psalm 46:10a: “Be still and know that I am God.” Stillness is something we achieve by ceasing to do. We find rest for our body, mind, emotions, and spirit in God’s presence. “Come unto me,” Jesus says, and when we do, we find rest (Matthew 11:28).
Maybe you are plagued by over-scheduling. Or stressful deadlines? Or others’ demands and expectations? Or “hurrysickness” ~ that frantic, constantly-stimulating activity level that sociologists claim is destroying our culture. We need to plan time to do absolutely nothing, or to day-dream, or catnap. We need quiet moments and longer seasons of silence and meditation. And a porch is the perfect location.
But I don’t have a porch right now. I’ve had to “create my porch” from the home God has given me. My “porch” is one of two places ~ either my backyard lounge chair, or my kitchen table with absolutely all media turned off. These minutes of snatched peace revive and refuel me. They increase my ability to serve with joy.
Realize that what you ultimately want is rest in God ~ soul rest in His presence.
- So I ask you: “Needin’ some time on the porch?”
- And you answer: “Yep.”
* Adapted from http://www.smilegodlovesyou.org/jokes.blonde.html