Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 37

I am almost finished reading Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg. It's been very thought provoking and refreshing as well. I plan to review this book completely in the next week or so because it has so complimented this journey God has me on. I am looking forward to that.

For now I want to concentrate on rest. In one section of her book, Margaret is talking to a vintner. They were discussing the many passages in the bible that discussed vintners and vineyards. One in Exodus basically commanded that every seventh year the land should rest and lie fallow (Exodus 23:11). This is probably hard to do from a vintner's perspective as it takes many years to make a bottle of wine and to see a profit. But the land needs the rest. The vines are literally removing nutrients from the soil and if you give the soil a rest is replenishes itself.

The vintner said: "The downtime allows for the soil of the vineyard to regain the nitrogen it needs to produce a delicious harvest. The trick is maintaining a balance of fertility in the vines. Overly stressed vines will struggle and produce fruit of lower quality. Excessively happy vines will be too prolific and create thin, uninspired wines."

Just as land needs a sabbath we do too. It's a biblical principal. Yet how many times do we work work work - do do do - then Sunday comes around we go to church, go to lunch, help the kids with their homework, etc. Where is the rest? How do we replenish our bodies?

When was the last time you napped on a Sunday afternoon? I used to nap. I can remember when I stopped. Raina was about 7 weeks old and I was struggling to nurse and sleep and care for a newborn and an almost 3 year old who wasn't on the same sleep schedule. My body was forced to require less and less sleep and I eventually gave in to that and never really replenished my body even when I eventually could. I became used to living on less rest. Soon there after we had adopted hectic therapy schedules and that was the story of our lives.

I don't regret caring for my girls and their needs. But I needed rest. Just as my spirit needed solitude with God, my body needed literal rest. I remember at a certain point I began surviving life rather than experiencing life. That is not God's plan.

Margaret says: "Life without the gift of rest is merely existing without being able to enjoy the bouquet of all we have been given."

How do you rest? I'll share more on that on the weekend post.

Today's Reflection:
Rest seems so elusive at times and definitely minor when compared to my mounting to do list. It's as if the cares of this world begin to weigh us down but if walked in your rest your burden is easy and your yoke is light. Your rest replenishes my body and my soul enabling me to quieten my mind and hear you. Lord I pray for your abundant rest in my life. I pray that as You continue to guide me, that You will help me find physical and spiritual rest in balance with the things I must do.

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