Community in Action October 24, 2020

Today is a day of preparation for me. I continue to prepare for our class tomorrow on the Prophet Elisha. I am also continuing to prepare for the message on “The Compassionate Prophet - People Over Programs.” I am also planting a few more vegetables as I prepare our winter garden as well as I wait as the flour is rising for a fresh loaf of sourdough bread to be baked tomorrow which I prepared earlier this morning.

    I have to admit that these things are many, but most are meaningful and all are fulfilling, for me. The weekends for me are quite busy in preparation for Sunday Worship, classes, and other church events, that is why Monday is my Sabbath.

    I know it is hard to set time aside for a Sabbath, but the rest we need is part of our DNA or God’s design for us. That design includes being in the image of God, who also rested, a God who created human beings, not human doings.

    The reason it is so hard to rest or just be is partly because we also are designed for production. Just as God created, and still creates, so we too are partners with God in this creative process. This requires doing, but there is also planning, preparing, and resolving.

    That is we can do things, but God also gave us a mind to plan, design, and solve (if something needs repairing). This means to sit and think, or for some of us to talk and think, but it is less doing and more sedentary. 

    The other requirement when we do something is to evaluate what we have done. It is helpful to design something or solve a problem, then do it, but we then need to evaluate if what we did worked or was helpful or solved the problem. This requires some thinking and ruminating about the effectiveness of what we have done.

    Though we are not moving as much in thinking we still are trying to produce something not resting. I am getting us there. I see resting is not just sitting and thinking, but enjoying or soaking in or just being present. There is a difference if one’s mind is focused on a problem and if one’s mind is just at rest. 

    Perhaps the best way I have found to rest is to just listen. Listen to the wind, the birds, or the breathing of your cat. Listening to the world around you not seeking to decipher what you hear, but letting the sounds move through your mind providing a backdrop for just resting in creation, just resting in the presence of the Lord.

    Just listening. Sensing the movement around you, breathing in the smells wafting through the room, sitting and drinking in the space which you occupy. This is Sabbath rest.

    Today as I prepare for tomorrow or the events on my schedule for next week or the harvest yet to come months from now I will take a moment just to sit and listen. Be it in a chair, in a garden, or just sitting in the car. Take that moment today as we, the creation, prepare to celebrate tomorrow the creator who longs to enfold us in his arms.

    Peace to you and yours,

    Pastor Randy

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