Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Unpoetic Life

The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life.

The most saintly spirits are often existing in those who have never distinguished themselves as authors, or left any memorial of themselves to be the theme of the world's talk; but who have led an interior angelic life, having borne their sweet blossoms unseen like the young lily in a sequestered vale on the bank of a limpid stream.
--Kenelm Digby

Sometimes in the midst of all your striving, you hear Jesus' gentle words, "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

When you think you have so much to do, some of it even in service for God, Jesus' reminder breaks through all of that busy-work. What does that rest actually look like? What does it mean to accept the peace and rest he offers? How can you find it in the middle of the chaos of your life and your daily to-do list that always seems to have items outstanding?

Let's face it, our lives are fairly prosaic most of the time. There are certain daily tasks we have to do: there are our daily responsibilities for the household we are a part of, there are the things we want to do, there are our leisure time activities, there are things others ask us to do, there is our work, daily exercise, and the unexpected things that crop up. Sometimes we may feel pulled in so many directions. We need to invite Jesus into all this daily living and ask him what he would have us do. We may be surprised by his answer.

When he told Martha, "Only one thing is needed," as she was rushing around preparing him and his disciples a suitable feast, he added that Mary had chosen "the better part." Mary was just sitting at his feet listening, in defiance of the custom of the day. Maybe we need to think about what, maybe more accurately, who that one thing is.

I realize I can get so caught up in doing, I forget to pause before I jump into my day, and bring daily list of things I want to accomplish before him. I fail to ask him and the Holy Spirit throughout my day for direction and guidance. I view interruptions as inconveniences to my own agenda. Lacking insight and wisdom, I check things off as I complete them, but wonder why I feel empty inside.

If I am not acting out of love, all that I managed to do, in the eyes of eternity, is like so much hay and stubble. I need to be connected to the vine to bear fruit that will last. We need to act, yes, but we also need our marching orders from the Captain of our souls!

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