Dear Church family and friends,
Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Recently I read this devotion which was written by our former senior pastor, Rev. Jim White. His words touched my heart and soul deeply, and helped me regain the strength to go through a tough week. So I want to share it with you. May you be surrounded by God’s amazing peace and grace this week!
The Joy of Doing Nothing
OK! We can never really “do nothing.” Even when we’re not “doing” anything, our mind is never in neutral. But one sure sign we are comfortable being home with ourselves is the whimsical and occasional joy of having “nothing” to do!
This usually means there’s a break in routine, or that we’ve completed a “to do” list.
The problem/opportunity is that even when we’re doing “nothing” we are still restless. No one said it better than Augustine: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you’.”
It is true that the process of becoming a whole person requires us to spend time in the rabbit holes of the mind, not just embracing old wounds and nurturing future hopes, but learning to enjoy the wholeness of just being home with ourselves.
Clearing a cluttered mind is like clearing out an attic filled with "stuff." It begins with paying attention and letting go of cherished illusions, until there is space enough for the joy of simply Being.
Here, joy can begin to seep through cracks in the soul created by trauma, bereavement, unhealed divorce, chronic illness, unhealthy relationships, the challenges of disabilities, and the general wear and tear of growing older.
These maladies are often the result of loading ourselves up with over-stretched schedules, crammed with enough commitments to keep us from the real truth about ourselves:
that our emptiness is God-shaped and can be filled by “doing nothing” other than the openness to being discovered...when walking along a stream, paying attention to the smallest of beings and things, or enjoying the scent of roses wafting through a bedroom window at midnight.
This is who we are! We were born with an inherent longing to Be in union with our True Self, and in union with the Divine One hidden in, what Richard Rohr calls, "God-soaked matter" which is the Cosmos.
Mystics since the dawn of human history came to see:
The more you know your self, the more you know God.
The more you know God, the more you will know your self.
The more you know God , the more you will love your neighbor.
.....Pause and let this truth seep in.
This sense of Wholeness or Oneness comes more easily to those who are willing to quit being “on” all the time in a life of always making plans (as though life is some kind of dress rehearsal) until we finally become the victims of the tyranny of our own expectations!
It's no surprise that sooner or later we become "tired of being tired" and it's: "stop the world, I want to get off!" Indeed, this kind of tiredness is a Messenger sent to heal us... sometimes by the lingering perfume of roses in the midnight of the soul.
Max Enhrmaan put it well:
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive God to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul."
The lingering perfume of roses in the midnight of the soul ...a messenger sent to heal!
photo by Jim at Capitola, CA