Our prayers shape our beliefs. Our beliefs shape our actions, with God’s help. Our actions shape our world. This month’s first devotion spoke of new beginnings and the Feast of the Holy Name. Last week we looked to follow a guiding star. You can read about it here.
We have recently completed a season of expectant waiting, Advent, culminating in the birth of Christ. Christ is the One for whom we have waited, our savior from worldly clamors! Yet we observe the liturgical season of Epiphany during the long month of January, where days slowly increase in daylight. Is time a friend?
Thank God for the Fallow Time
In honor of the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, this reading is from civil rights activist Howard Thurman, who was a mentor to Dr. King. Thurman’s beliefs led him to practice a theology of radical nonviolence.
“There is a fallow time for the spirit when the soil is barren because of sheer exhaustion. It may come at the end of a long, long period of strenuous effort. It may result from the plateau of tragedy that quietly wore away the growing edge of alertness until nothing was left but the exhausted roots of aliveness. Perhaps too much anxiety, a too-hard trying, a searching strain to do by oneself what can never be done that way, has made one’s spirit seem like a water tap whose washer is worn out from too much pressure. But there may be the simplest possible explanation: the rhythmic ebb and flow of one’s powers, simply this and nothing more. Whatever may be the reasons, one has to deal with the fact. Face it! Then resolutely dig out dead roots, clear the ground, but don’t forget to make a humus pit against the time when some young or feeble plants will need stimulation from past flowerings in your garden. Work out new designs by dreaming daring dreams and great and creative planning. The time is not wasted. The time of fallowness is a time of rest and restoration, of filling up and replenishing. It is the moment when the meaning of all things can be searched out, tracked down, and made to yield the secret of living. Thank God for the fallow time!”
Narrative by Stephanie Shareck Werner, © 2021.
Above quote from Deep Is the Hunger—Meditations for Apostles of Sensitiveness by Howard Thurman.