Monday, November 14, 2011
Restore my soul
This morning I woke to the sound of nothing. I could see the sun had risen and our small bedroom window framed the barren, black branches of an oak. Denis was still asleep when I left the room to make coffee.
Two days ago we left behind most of our work and some of our worries for a retreat at a far place. Kaufman’s little cabin sits at the end of a grassy track on the tip of a small peninsula ringed with oak, white pine and balsam. The lake was still this morning with little ice panes growing out from shore.
For the first two days we haven’t said much. Just existing side by side, eating, sleeping, slipping away the hours with reading and walks. My soul is being jake braked like a semi truck. The mind and body protest a little when you stop that fast.
I’ve tried to prepare myself for this away time by remembering my own advice: You should do everything you can to include regular rhythms of rest in your life. A day, a week, or longer. Not only does this honor Jesus, it honors your body, your heart and whoever lives or walks beside you. You will be more whole. You will see that, amazing though it is, the world will survive without you. As Tim Keller points out, “At some point you will have to trust God and honor Jesus – who is Lord of the Sabbath – by practicing Sabbath and risk “falling behind” in your career.”
There’s never an ideal or best time to go away. One must intentionally leave things that cry out: “Deal with me NOW or else.” I need to see that leaving those things is a matter of obedience. In doing so we acknowledge that it is God who calls us away to a place where, surprise, surprise, we find freedom in Sabbath rest.
I know how difficult this is for many. I think of mothers with little ones, for anyone with a loved one in crisis, for employees or employers whose careers require everything. My prayers are for you.
If you’ve read this far, you’ll know I’m away and understand why I can’t give you Honeysuckle updates. I know how disappointing this is and how severely crippling this will be to my blog hits. Anita has promised to post to my blog mid-week with photos of the babies. We are missing their eyes opening, their ears lifting and the change from naked little bratwursts to furry creatures so cute you could eat them.