Monday, March 11, 2013

The Ballance Between Rest and Activity

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

There is a reason that I prefer to write in the morning. It is now almost ten at night. I had a quick prayer time this morning, worked on paying bills, had a wonderful lunch with a dear friend, went to the doctor. Then I went to the pharmacy and listened to what turned into four hours of speeches given by another friend for a class. So I now know about cat grooming, the advantages of colemack keyboards, and non lethal self defense weapons. Hard to believe that three six minute speeches could turn into a four hour adventure. 

As I sit here trying to sort out my thoughts to find something inspiring to write about my brain feels a bit muddled, might be the cough syrup with codine that I took so I would not cough during the speeches. It has been a very full day for a Monday. Turns out I was loopyer than I thought and I posted this to my art blog -oops

My highlight today was lunch with my friend Karen in her new home. Seeing the projects she is working on, and hearing about the books she has read and listening to new parts of her memoirs. Spending time with her is like partaking in a feast of deep thoughts and inspiration. Her life is rich and purposeful and has a holy quality that never fails to feed my soul and inspire my spirit. I was her guest on Sunday to attend a the local Bach Festival. We listened to two hours of the Goldberg Variations played brilliantly on piano. The music filled the atmosphere of the huge gothic style cathedral, with stone walls, tapestries, mosaics and exquisite stained glass. I read it took ten years to build. It was beautiful and awe inspiring. I've included a small photo collage of some of the photos I took.

I have spent most of my Christian life in church plants that met in gyms or store fronts or small functional church buildings. They might have had a banner or two but nothing of the timeless and lasting beauty of a cathedral. I can't help but appreciate the broad spectrum of church buildings and even our manner of worship can be very different from one place to the next. I am amazed by the creativity of the Almighty God, King of the Universe who sees all of our expressions of worship and finds delight in them. I hope to some day see the cathedrals in Europe or the Catacombs. I am thrilled that Christianity has been going on for 2000 years and it has a rich history. There is even deeper history that goes back even further in the the Old Testament and the history of Gods dealing with Israel. I look at all of these things and I am reminded that I have only scratched the surface of what there is to know of God, of his people who have gone before me. Isaac Newton said " If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. 

Hebrews 12:1
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,"

I look at the photos of the cathedral that I took and I think of the faith of the people who came together to build it. I wonder what legacy or marks my own generation will leave on this world. We have every gadget known to man and we are still are running to catch up. 

I read this quote while waiting at the doctors office today. "Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing something - anything  - is better than doing nothing. Because of our desire to succeed, to meet these ever-growing expectations  we do not rest. Because we do not rest, we lose our way. We miss the compass points that would show us where to go, we bypass the nourishment that would give us succor.  We miss the quiet that would give us wisdom. We miss the joy and love born of effortless delight. Poisoned by this hypnotic belief that good things come only through unceasing determination and tireless effort, we can never truly rests. And for the want of rest, our lives are in danger. "Sabbath Rest - Restoring the sacred rhythm of rest by Wayne Muller

There is a balance to be found between rest and action. I am reminded again for the need to feed my soul and spirit in the beauty of nature, of art, music, in solitude, quiet contemplation and rest. I think that I am continually learning to find this balance. People often ask how I find the time and inspiration for the things I write or create. It is the overflow of a daily quiet time. It is found in taking time to rest and to allow the Lord to fill me again and again. 

Even so I have only scratched the surface. I have so much to learn of solitude, silence and rest. So much to learn in the treasury of His Word and in the stories of those who have gone before me. I find wonder in His story written through the ages. Today was full but it was a good full not a stressed busyness. I could see the Lord ordering it for me. I am tired at this point but thankful for the gift of this day. 

I suppose I hope as you are reading these posts that God is stirring up a greater hunger for his word. A greater hunger to see his hand through the ages. A greater desire to spend daily quiet times with Him. That you are stepping out to express His praise and honor in your life in creative ways. 

Well I am calling it a night, this may be the latest I have posted - I will be back writing again in a few short hours. 

Lord, come and refresh and renew us. Help us to find the balance between rest and activity. Help us to be led by your Sprit. Thank you that you promise to lead us beside still waters and to restore our souls. 

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