Last week we considered how to discover Holy Ground in the busy-ness of our work-a-day lives. This time, we’re contemplating finding Holy Ground in Rest and Relaxation. This is a category I have difficulty with. I am much more comfortable getting things done, than in sitting and doing nothing.
Jesus commends the practice though. “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’" (Mark 6:31)
Jesus himself went away for quiet, when the crowds became too crushing. “But the news about Jesus spread all the more, and great crowds came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet He frequently withdrew to the wilderness to pray.” (Luke 5:15-16)
It is often very easy to think we are too busy to take time off. The world won’t stop spinning if we take a day or 2 of rest. In My Fair Lady, Eliza sings “There'll be spring every year without you/England still will be here without you/There'll be fruit on the tree/And a shore by the sea/There'll be crumpets and tea without you.” She is, of course talking to Professor Harry Higgins. However, it is a reminder that we could all use sometimes. God tells us, “Without your pulling it the tide comes in/Without your twirling it, the Earth can spin/Without your pushing them, the clouds roll by”.
My spiritual director has advised me to take a retreat, in order to refill the cup of my soul, so I can continue in the various work and ministry I do. She is reminding me that I’m not irreplaceable in any of my roles. The assorted tasks will get done (or not) just as well with me there or away. After all, “without much ado we can/All muddle through without you.”
The One we cannot do without is the One who too often gets ignored or pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Next weekend, I’ll be at a retreat focusing on Sabbath. It won’t be totally without work for me, as I’m the coordinator. Still, I hope to find some quiet for myself somewhere in the midst of it all.Is it time to find a Sabbath time for yourself? Is it time to step away from some of what you do in order to get a drink from the well of life? Is it time to put God at the top of your to-do list?