Great Summer Reads: Adam & Eve--Stuck in the Middle...With You

 
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My husband and I entered our wedding reception to the song, “Stuck in the Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel.  Two-Hundred people surrounded us and celebrated our marriage.  It was a truly perfect day.  That moment was one of those glimpses of heaven Pastor Rick referenced in his sermon on Sunday.  It was a memory I often visit when I need to be uplifted.  Every time I hear that song, I smile.

August is one of my metaphorical stuck in the middle places.  Every single year since I can remember, I have struggled with the month of August.  It’s hot.  Everyone is on vacation.  Nobody is around and nothing gets done.  I can’t even deal with going to the store and seeing candy corn and Halloween costumes.  People practically throw pumpkin spice glitter at you while playing back to school commercials over and over and over.  I have two giant buckets of school supplies sitting in my garage waiting to be sorted and labeled.  Let’s not forget the dreaded contact paper mocking me in the corner.  I’ve been avoiding Facebook because I just cannot read another “you only have 18 summers with your kids” article.  It’s the calm before the September tsunami.

Yesterday I hit a wall.  I had too much, so I phoned a friend.  This friend is wise and I knew she would have good advice to shake me out of this funk.  I told her in a panicked voice exactly what I was experiencing.  She attends a recovery group.  Her community shares this type of thing and they problem solve and support one another.  She said they have an acronym they use in times like this.  The acronym is H.A.L.T.  Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired?  I screamed, “I’m all of those things!”  I then proceeded to ball my eyes out because she got it!  Thank God.  She knew what I was feeling.  Her advice was to take time for myself.  I laughed.  How?!  It’s August!  There is no time for myself.  She said to take 10 minutes and do something for me.

I thought about Pastor Rick’s sermon and the Garden of Eden.  I wanted to know what it felt like to be there before the fall.  I wanted to feel paradise.  I went outside, took my flip flops off, closed my eyes and walked in the grass barefoot.  At that moment, the feeling of the sun, the softness of the grass, the sounds of the animals and bugs, they all became familiar.  I finally realized what my August issue is.  It’s not school supplies or pumpkin spice.  It’s a disconnection from God.  By August, after the delirium of summer has really sunk in, I have stopped praying.  There’s no Wednesday Women’s Bible Study and I barely see my church friends.  It creeps in just like that serpent slithered into the garden.

I miss God.  That disconnection is a result of the reality we experience here in the middle of paradise and paradise.  It’s not the truth though.  God sent His Son to save us from all of this. The world is just set up for us to forget.  I am vowing to myself and to you that the next time this happens, which unfortunately it will, I am going to remember Pastor Rick’s sermon about Adam and Eve.  He told us Jesus was not content with our shattered world and that the cross saved us.  We need to remember that.  We are living in the middle of Genesis and Revelation, but we know who we are and Whose we are. We know what we are called to do.  We are called to “reshape, repair and restore” this world.  Before we can be the light, we need to see the light.  When we are in a valley and disconnected from God, we need to reshape, repair and restore our souls.  The next time you feel the August aching in your soul, take off your shoes, close your eyes and walk in the grass. And remember…..Peace.

Erica DePalma

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