Monday, October 17, 2005
My pastor and his family just left for a 3 month sabbatical. It's the first time, in the 17 years I have known them, that they have taken one. (he has been in full time ministry that entire time) I put some thoughts into writing about this time of rest and restoration... I need to be reminded as well!
Consider the word "restoration." A definition for restoration is: "The act of returning to an original state or condition." In adjective form it means, "A reinvigorating medicine; anything that reinvigorates."
Our world is one of cycles. Tides ebb and flow, one season gives way to the next, night follows day. In our own lives, we have periods of great activity and periods of rest. Just as high tide is no better than low tide and summer no better than spring, activity is not, in itself, better than inactivity. In fact, these times of rest and rejuvenation, idleness and dreaming, help us connect to ourselves and to our God.
Our culture tends to applaud action and achievement. We are often most comfortable with ourselves when we are clearly traveling toward a goal. During these times of striving, we direct our energy outward. We take action on the vision and follow the steps that lead us to our goal. But there are moments in this process when the urge comes to take a break, retreat, or just lie low. The tendency is to judge ourselves negatively as we are less comfortable with these moments of down time. Where are our hearts in wanting to take a step back? Are we trying to re-invent ourselves or are we wanting to re-invigorate who God created us to be? Being aware of intentions behind the action of 'lying low' you can gain a higher perspective on it. The urge to have down time is a natural part of the process of achieving goals. What appears to be a deviation from the path may actually prove to be a shorter distance in the bigger picture.
Go Ahead! Practice the great cultural taboo of inactivity. Curl up under the covers with a favorite book. Soak up some sun or daydream the day away. Allow yourself to simply be - alive and at ease. Give God time to work His wonders on your behalf.