“When you live in God, your day begins when you lose yourself long enough for God to find you, and when God finds you, to lose yourself again in praise.” Barbara Taylor Brown
When I was in graduate school, I had a mantra that often helped me through days of intensive study. “Read. Write. Rest. Repeat.” Recently, I’ve found those words re-entering my life. They’ve changed slightly, but they still seem to do the trick. They offer me a pattern that engages, fulfills and restores. Work can be substituted for write and often exercise makes its way into the rest category. Bottom line - my rhythm feels pretty simple and I love it.
It was little surprise, therefore, when I reached for my Kindle yesterday and noticed I was still on the chapter, "Sabbath", in An Altar in the World. My highlighter has worked overtime in this book, (yes, I still underline and make notes in my books – how else will those who read after me know what I found important?) but the passage that stood out today spoke of the lighting of two candles on Shabbat - how one is for rest and the other freedom. The intertwining of those two concepts - freedom and rest - reminds me not only of my mantra, but also the larger notion that without rest, freedom is very likely absent.
It is a fine balance we walk in this world that says productivity is god. Barbara Brown Taylor says this is worshiping the wrong god, and I wholeheartedly agree. So, it was with great pleasure yesterday that I curled up with my cat and my book and found a piece of Sabbath in the midst of a potentially full day. I slowed down just enough for God to find me and for that I am grateful and offer up my praise. It's amazing what happens when I get out of my own way!!
So, do you have a mantra? What does it offer you? Productivity? Sabbath? Both? Neither? Do tell!
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