I just got back from bridal/bachelorette party weekend for a close friend. The weekend was full of planning, storytelling, some awkwardness, gift relocation, healthy laughter, and good food, wrapping up with a trip to the spa for massages.
For my friends the massage part of the weekend was the cherry on top, but I was anxious because it’s hard for me to let everything go and just be still. I’m usually multitasking, or thinking about the next ten steps for life, so lying still for 50 minutes to unwind seemed just too difficult a task.
One of the other girls drove our party of four, and as we entered the spa the smells that welcomed us promised a peaceful time, but I still wasn’t so sure. We were each summoned by our therapist, and exited the lounge to assigned private rooms. Of course, the single rooms were booked, so I was led outside to couples massage room…alone.
The poor masseuse did her best, but after quite a bit of flinching, she realized I was a piece of work that needed more than one massage session, so I think she lowered her expectation of what she could accomplish in just 50 minutes. Have you ever seen a meat mallet? They are square with sharp ridges, and you use them to pound steak? THAT probably would have been a useful tool on my back.
Massage over, I headed back into the lounge area where the other girls and I sat in our small circle of four chairs, sipped mimosas, and talked. But almost immediately, I wanted to get my phone. I wondered if anyone had texted, if I missed any calls, or if I was missing something else. Unfortunately, it was in a locker so I wasn’t able to retrieve it without being rude to the party.
Finally, I decided to just be. Be in the moment. Be within the current conversation. Be with real, living people, in Real Life. And when I finally let go of all the places I wanted to be, I was able to unwind. Soon, I felt relieved that I didn’t have my purse, my phone, or my car. To be in a place where I forced to live in the moment suddenly felt wildly refreshing.
I could probably make a ton of comparisons about how God made a seventh day devoted to rest for a reason, how Jesus lingered with people, that He even took his disciples away for rest when they needed it, but honestly, I just want to remember that today, I sat and lived an unhurried afternoon listening to other people talk.
Although I’m grateful for a good massage, I am more thankful that I was not in control of my life for that short period of time. Today I relaxed. Just living the thing can often be challenging, hard, and sometimes full of difficult lessons, but today, I am thankful that living the thing meant just living in the moment, relaxing, and being still.