Today was our day for Sabbath. It couldn't have come at a better time. The past 2 weeks may not have been as physically taxing, but they definitely took more emotional and spiritual energy than I'm accustomed to!
As I sat/laid all afternoon in a golden field of grass surrounded by towering mountains and life-infusing sunlight, I have never rested so well before. I had another 'aha' moment today. One that I don't know why I've never realized before, but perhaps I just didn't take the time to think it all through. Before when I thought of Sabbath, I equated it with simply physical rest. Today in my 'aha' moment I learned that it isn't just about physical rest by the ceasing of work. It's about spiritual rest in the company of my Jesus, emotional rest from the upheaval of life, intellectual rest from the spinning thoughts of my overly-active mind, and social rest in the company of those I love. In the place of all of those 'rests' please feel free to say 'renewal,' because Sabbath is just as much about renewal--giving life--as it is about rest--ceasing action.
For a full afternoon, I simply rested and absorbed the beauty around me. My first instinct of course was to lift my gaze to the heavens, but it was when I looked down that the Lord showed me my most treasured picture of the day. I sat on a hill of beautiful blowing, bending leaves of grass. As I took in the picture before me, I noticed how incredibly beautiful the blades of grass were as they folded into one another, all pointing toward the same thing. Not a one of them stood tall; they all bent to the will of the wind blowing across the field. Even when the wind stopped its gusting, the grass still bowed, holding in their bodies the evidence of the power of that wind.
Not far away grew a cluster of prickly weeds. This plant was distinctly thicker and stronger than the pliable blades of grass. Each one held its head high in the face of the wind and refused give way.
I can almost hear the strong plant saying, "but God told me to grow right here, and that's all I'm trying to do: just what He told me! And by golly, that's what I'm going to keep doing!" I suddenly was struck at how much like this plant I am. So often I determine I will stand strong come what may, and with the best intentions ignore the blowing of the Spirit that so desires to shape me into a thing of beauty. How many good intentions I have when I charge ahead in what I'm convinced the Lord wants me to do, but I wonder what the Spirit is longing to do with me if I would time to rest, acknowledging my weakness and bending in humility before Him.
Then those humble strands of grass caught my eye again. They too were doing just as the Lord had told them, but with a grace and meekness that allowed them to be beautifully shaped and fashioned by the wind.
Thus my prayer has become, Lord give me the strength to do Your will, the courage to stop and rest, and the wisdom to hold the tension between both work and rest in balance.