Back to School
At the start of the new school year, we hit the ground running with school work and activities. But from time to time our souls need us to slow down, to take a study break, to rest, to play, to pray. Let this be one of those moments:
“Come away from rush and hurry
to the stillness of God’s peace;
from our vain ambition’s worry,
come to Christ and find release.”
Marva Dawn in “Come Away from Rush and Hurry” (1999)
Overhead, the birds in the sky make their home, chirping loudly in the trees. From your lofty house, you water the mountains. The earth is filled full by the fruit of what you’ve done. You make grass grow for cattle; you make plants for human farming in order to get food from the ground, and wine, which cheers people’s hearts, along with oil, which makes the face shine, and bread, which sustains the human heart. The Lord’s trees are well watered— the cedars of Lebanon, which God planted, where the birds make their nests, where the stork has a home in the cypresses.
In the documentary film “The Biggest Little Farm,” a family sets out to restore the land of a badly depleted apricot orchard in California. To restore the health of the soil on the farm, they call on soil-expert Alan York. Alan designs a beautiful, weaving landscape that restores the health of the soil. In addition to replenishing the land, the newly designed gardens are places of immense beauty.
Too often, our lives look like the soil at the beginning of the film: dried-up and depleted. We work so hard and then burn out. We try too hard to please others only to get tired of trying to please everyone else. We wish our lives looked like a beautiful garden, but we feel dry as a desert.
In this desert, God gives life in abundance.
The same God who waters the mountains and grows the grass gives life and joy in abundance to all who are weary and overworked. When we rest in the life God offers, our very lives become places of immense beauty.
God of Abundance, when I feel dried up and depleted, let me rest in you. There I find new life and endless beauty. Amen.
Rest now in God, throughout the hurry of your day
Finding a space to pause, to pray, to play
And in that space of rest and re-creation
You are enough
Because Christ is enough