Last week, I got into some poison ivy.
First, on the disc golf course as we were looking for a shot that was too long and in the rough. I noticed it after traipsing through.
Then, in my very own backyard. We had a gigantic bush of the stuff, all viney and spread out everywhere. I donned my long sleeved shirt and latex gloves and washed everything immediately after pulling the ivy out and tossing it in a garbage bag.
But 2-3 days later, the bumps have arrived. The itchy, red, gross bumps. A streak on my leg. Both of my wrists, a few fingers and a blotch on the top of one arm.
Last year, I covered myself with this pink itch relief cream, but in reality, it didn’t really help, so I’m toughing it out.
And here is what I have figured out: If I’m busy with something… if I’m watching television or writing or working out in the garden, I don’t notice the itch. But as soon as I stop, I can’t stop thinking about scratching!
I have had another itch as well. The itch to get back to work. And that itch has been a little bit stronger. Any time my mind is clear… as I’m pulling weeds or sitting at the computer waiting for inspiration to hit on the writing or driving in the car, I can’t stop thinking about what I’m going to do when I get back to Immanuel next week.
For me, that itch is much healthier. It is a sign that I’m doing the work I am called to do. It is a sign that this has been a good time away where I could clarify and focus on things in a new way. It is a sign that God has been in the midst of this time and that I need to honor the things I have discovered about myself, my relationships, and my calling when I return.
In fact, I had to make a list on my phone. Every time inspiration strikes, it goes on the list.
It helps soothe the itch for a while so I can get back to resting and renewing.