The line is set. The distance between is precise. The inevitable push is lurking. Click, click, click, click, the porcelain rectangle hits the next, and the next, and the next. All the preparation has paid off. The line moved in tandem with my expectations. Click, click, click, one fell after the other as if passing a baton from one dedicated runner to the next.

Satisfied, the line is complete of its energy. The tiles lay overlapping each other in an exhausted accomplished state. I begin again and line the dominoes once more. The inevitable push is poised for the encore and I am ready.

Historically, mornings are my ally. I am clearest and most focused, and my dedication is at its strongest. As each child awakens, however, the focus blurs. My chest tightens with anxiety, The morning’s to-do list resounds in my head, and the worry sets in. My mind begins to sabotoge me:

“We are going to be late. 12 minutes until we need to be in the car. I am not sure I can make it.” I process to myself.
I bark a command at one child, roar a different direction to another. My internal compass is wavering. My loving side fights it with gentle commands, “What are five minutes compared to losing your patience?”
“A lot!” my type A personality yells.

Click, click, silence. The domino doesn’t connect to the next. My chest grows tighter. The anxiety, the frustration, and the stress are burning in my throat. Somehow a sock on one baby foot has managed to run away before the child can make it down the hallway. I look and cannot find it. The four-year-old looks at the ceiling considering the sock ran there. I huff and decide it isn’t worth it.

Click, click, click, the dominoes pick up the pace again. I breathe deeply. Start saying little prayers as I slather mayonnaise over the bread sides and fighting thoughts of bitterness.
“Why is he sleeping while I am drowning in the duties of the morning?”
And then that small voice prods me again, convicts my heart. Everything short of turning me on my belly and giving me a smack where I deserve it.

“Be still. Know that I Am.”

I hear the voice. I try to heed it. My roars become growls and I relent.
“We will get there. Stay on task, be flexible. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. Growing and loving babies are more important than being on time.”
My chest begins to loosen. The prayers of thanks get louder than my sinful nature within. Children magically find shoes and lost socks. And I realize, as usual, we were on time not because of my diligence alone but because even in the smallest of things, God is with me setting up dominoes where my chain of engineering failed.

So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. – Philippians 3:15-16

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