|ps from ps… Last weekend, Michelle and I got away with a couple good friends to the Allegheny National Forest in PA. And when I say away, I mean our cell phones went out of service and then we drove and kayaked another 18 miles into the woods. Off. The. Grid. Just some hammocks, hiking shoes, kayaks and food.|
It was needed. And it was beautiful. And it was healing. “And you will find rest for your soul.”
It happened to be a few “extra demanding” days before, but that wasn’t the reason it was so healing. It was healing because it was a time for self-care, adventure, quiet and space. Those are four things that often get pushed out of our dailyness. And those four things helped me reconnect to the beauty of the world, my wife/friends and God’s creation that is right around me all the time.
It’s always interesting to me when I’m first in the woods how many times per hour I reach to check my phone. Even though I know it doesn’t work where I am. “My phone” is sort of a symbol for me of focusing on “everyone else’s everything” instead of just being mindful and in the present moment.
Our gospel this weekend starts: “Jesus went home; and the crowd came together again so that Jesus and the disciples could not even eat.” Jesus didn’t have a phone but he did often get pulled into everyone else’s everything. Maybe he was heading home to reconnect with family, to go for a leisurely hike, to have some of his mom’s cooking or to rest from his ministry? Who knows. Yet we do know that the demands of the world were constantly in his face and needing his goodness and his god-ness.
Is your ministry demanding right now? Is everyone else’s everything pulling at you so hard that you can barely eat? Have you given yourself time of rest? Time to reconnect? Time to heal?
Then, get in your woods! It doesn’t have to be the National Forest. It doesn’t have to be kayaks and hikes. But it should be time and space just to be present, care for yourself and allow the recognition of God right there with you to wash over you again.
This summer at St. Paul’s, I want to pay special attention to that – resting in God. I want to allow more space in worship to just be in God’s space. Even at church, we get to rushing around and cramming things in and missing out on the rest/sabbath/healing component of worship. This summer we will open ourselves up to worship differently. I would encourage you to come to church at St. Paul’s, or wherever you worship, with a mindfulness toward rest. Toward space. Toward recovery. Toward inspiration. Set your intentions to be with God.
Your ministry can be demanding at times: your work, your parenting, your caring for your parents, your battling illness, your showing compassion, your mission pulling at you so much that you can barely eat.
Get in the woods. For a couple days. For an hour at lunch. For an early morning walk. For a phone call to a trusted friend. For a time of worship in community.
And you will find rest for your soul.
Lord, help me to rest in you. Amen
Still in One Peace,