Have you been slowed down lately? Paused by a challenge that weighs heavy on you as an unwelcome burden – a whole body drag that sets your pace slow to slower to slower still?
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
Our home has become a portal for fresh remembering of an ancient truth in recent days.
Over a period of just a few months, my energetic and athletic wife began to experience strange neurological symptoms. Slowly, gradually, those symptoms led her a prone position for the bulk of every sunrise to sunset.
Multiple doctors were baffled, and after finer testing, we received a diagnosis that she is in a tussle with a small microbe in her system. Her battle, our battle, is named chronic Lyme disease.
For the past years, we have designed our lives to have a good amount of breathing space within; we’ve learned a few lessons over the years that have instilled in us a commitment to maintain an unrushed pace, renewing rhythms, and quiet motions through precious days.
But this turn of the times has pushed us farther on the road to rest than we have ever been before.
I wake, I work, I cook meals, I clean (with help), and I even do some gardening (a favorite hobby of my country-blooded wife). I do all these tasks slowly, allowing the hours to pass until sleep comes to call.
My active wife now lays quietly 10-12 hours a day, does a task or two as able, feels poorly, takes care of herself, talks to friends, trusts her Lord for healing, and wrestles through sleep.
Dallas Willard once said that the key to spiritual maturity is to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry” from your life. Often the greatest challenges that come our way are holy brakes that silently, but surely, slow us to a more whole and considered existence.
Lean into the losses halting hurry in your own life. Lean toward them as they rise like flowers bending toward the sun. Find God in those losses, and allow the resistance to slow you – slow you like a heavy wind that holds you even while you are leaning in and walking against its unseen current.
Spirit of God, the “rush I’m in” is actually the “rush in me.” Ruthlessly drive out that rush from my spirit, that hurry from my heart, and any propensity that remains in me to move through time dismissing details and missing miracles on the path. I would learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
In Jesus’ slowing, centering Name,
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