In my morning reading this morning (I use the book Common Prayer for morning prayer), there was a quote from Tatian the Assyrian that included this line: “Die to the world by renouncing the madness of its stir and bustle.” Stir and bustle: probably the biggest challenge to those of us who are seeking to learn the way of Jesus Christ.
One of the things I’ve noticed in our move from the village of McAdam to the (small) city of Fredericton is the huge change of pace. Everyone’s lives are so filled with activities that you wonder how anyone finds time to breathe. But breathing is important. Did you know that in the biblical languages (both Greek and Hebrew) the words for breath and Spirit are the same? If we aren’t slowing down enough to catch a breath, we also may not be slowing ourselves down enough to be truly walking in step with the Spirit.
This Sunday I talked a little about how the future shapes our life in the present. In the Book of Hebrews our future is described by a surprising term (merely one side of the whole biblical picture, but an important side): “rest.” “So then, a sabbath rest remains open for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). If our future can be described as “rest,” it must be pretty important for us to take a look at our lives in the present and ask how often we are restful. Restful to hear from God, restful to be present to the people he’s graciously given us in our lives (not just family, but friends, acquaintances, and strangers too), and restful just to recover.