Return to The Source

It's Labor Day.  

I feel like I need to remind us all of that fact because it might have gone unnoticed save for the five hundred ads you received in your email about Labor Day sales going on right now. 

Because this Labor Day is unlike any other Labor Day that any of us have ever experienced.  

Work is different for many of us.  For those of us who are privileged enough to work from home, we have been blurring the lines between work and rest for months.  For those of us who have been working outside of the home in this new world that is emerging, things have also been very different.  

And for some of us, work within this new world has been something that we would long to do if we were just given the chance.  If this is where you are... grace and peace to you.  Don't give up.  

I've spent the last week taking a bit of a break from the work that I do. I have to say that it took me three days to decompress from the pace I'd been keeping.  It took another three days to feel like I'd actually rested.  I tried to keep the promise I'd made to myself to stay off my email (with a few exceptions), and to just read, rest, and be present in the moments.  

The fact that I'm writing this, is evidence that I'm itching to be back to work.  I  miss it.  I've watched two worship services at my church that took place without me.  I wanted to be there.  But I also have come to understand something about myself during this COVID crisis... 

I need time to think.  I need time to rest.  I need time to spend a day reading.  I also need some time to do absolutely nothing.  Because I know that if I don't stop for a moment, and find the space to let go of all that I  believe needs to be done, and just be... I won't ever be able to do what actually needs doing.  

There's something within us that longs for that space.  And if we don't push back against the demands imposed on us, or that we impose on ourselves, and find that space... we will find ourselves lost, frustrated, weary and more depleted than we can bear.  

I read this poem by the 13th century poet Rumi that speaks right into this for me: 

Do you hear what the violin says
About longing?  The same as the stick 
I  was once a green branch in the wind. 
We are all far from home… 
As a breeze carries the ocean inside it, 
So within every sentence is, 
Return to the source. 

I love that so much.  It speaks into that longing that is within us to return to the Source of all sources.  When we are still, we are able to be more aware of where God is present within us and all around us.  

Try it.  Sit still for a moment and let everything go around you.  Pay attention to what is happening around you.  You can hear it all, can't you? The creaks in your house, the sound of the wind outside.  A child passing by on the sidewalk on her bicycle.  

It takes time to figure this out.  I  feel like I'm constantly learning and relearning this invaluable lesson about work and rest, and space and presence.  I feel like I finally have something of it figured out, and then it all falls apart on me and I find myself caught in the whirling carousel of my own busyness and self-importance.  

This is the cycle of it, though... we work... we rest... we return.  And when we give ourselves over to the rhythm, which is one that is imbedded in all of Creation, we discover ourselves again.  It may not happen right away, mind you.  Trust me, I am all too aware of that fact.  

But in time we will begin to understand this more fully.  In the poem "Four Marys" Paisley Rekdal wrote: 
It is wonderful when time accentuates something of the truth already within us.
It is wonderful, and worthy of the longing within us.  So spend this Labor Day reflecting on the rhythm that can return you to the Source, that will remind you who you are, and will give you rest and restoration for the days ahead.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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