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Invited to Rest

The lake is glorious. Restful, peaceful, serene. It doesn’t shout, “Come, play with me!” It doesn’t tease, “Lookie what I’m doing.” It doesn’t tempt with rowdy revelers splashing and sailing and fishing. Well, there are quite a few fishing.

IMG_1333No, the Lake at Junaluska just is. It is rest. It is peace. It is serene. It is not a place to get things done. I realized this as I set up my computer facing a window overlooking the lake, and sighed. Ah, now THAT is a view.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It didn’t distract me. More, it called to me. “You are here. Come be with me.”

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I had come to spend the week at the lake, catching up on all the things I hadn’t gotten done in the middle of my busy life. The things that needed reading, needed writing, needed sorting, needed attending to, things that I just hadn’t found time for. Now, I had all week for them, but the the Lake said, “Come be with me.” And that invitation is strong.

I had come to be alone, and found solitude.

I had come for quiet, and found silence.

I had come for refuge, and found welcome.

What I didn’t find was space to organize my disheveled self. Rather, there were sights and sounds to be shared. Things to be remembered and recorded. There was activity to be investigated and experienced. There were people to visit with, dogs to pat, birds to listen to, storms to respect and, of course, the Golden Hour to photograph.

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But what were any of these things without someone with whom to share?

We are communal beings. In spite of my ready angst about the person too loud at the next table, solo is not a natural state for me. “I just need to tell you, show you, share…” is the constant state of my being. Somehow, the solitary experience is incomplete for me. It vanishes with no one else to know it. Did I really see that? Hear that? Feel that? My testimony alone cannot confirm. I need companionship. Someone to listen, reflect, and appreciate with me the wonders of the world before me and their impact on the world within me.

I guess I’m just not cut from monastic cloth. After but a few hours, I am longing for someone, something, somewhere. My journals are but a meager substitute. It’s the Lake’s fault. It bids be come and walk and talk awhile. Perhaps I am the only one who hears, but I expect not, as the crowds on its pathways testify to its attraction for so many others. It is a wonderful conversational companion.

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Sure, stop and rest a bit, the Lake says. But don’t bring what you haven’t gotten done here expecting me to help you do it. I am for reflection, you to yourself. Depart, knowing better what you came for and what you go with. The world needs you back. I send you. 

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I came to the Lake at its invitation of rest, but I brought work with me instead. On my last day to spend in its embrace, it speaks softly. What you need is who I am.

Go now, and I go with you.

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Can we hurry patiently?

Patience is an ever present alternative to the mind’s endemic restlessness and impatience. Scratch the surface of impatience and what you will find lying beneath it, subtly or not so subtly, is anger. It’s the strong energy of not wanting things to be the way they are and blaming someone (often yourself) or some thing for it. This doesn’t mean you can’t hurry when you have to. It is possible even to hurry patiently, mindfully, moving fast because you have chosen to. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Source:”Wherever You Go There You Are”

Just be patient, we say.
Wait your turn, we admonish.
Don’t be in such a hurry, we caution.

But how much time do we really have? Isn’t it always ticking down? Shouldn’t we move with a bit more urgency?

Or should we sit back with assurance? All will be well if we let it. No rush. Everything turns out in the end. If we’re patient.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11: 29-30

But rest isn’t a place we land accidentally. (Oh, look at that! I was resting and I didn’t even know it!… Don’t think so.)

Nor is rest a place we can run to. (Chest heaving from outracing her pursuer, she rested comfortably and drifted off to sleep. …Not!)

Rest is a condition. It’s a place we land when we adopt patience, whether by force of circumstance or by force of will. It’s a choice, not a giving in but a giving up of our own concerns for things in favor of a greater thing.

Rest is a state of being. We don’t just settle into it but we decide to employ it. It’s a weapon in our arsenal. A tool at our disposal. But first…

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28

Let us hurry to patience. Rest waits for us there.

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God’s up to something

Calm, peaceful, still, ever.

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How can anyone tire of this view?
That goes on forever,
Forgives all
Welcomes all
Receives all.

You are there.
Out my bedroom window
My backyard,
My puppies’ playground,
Sheltered and safe.

***

Wait! What was that?

Who do you think you are,
Forcing your way in like that?
Painting my hallway
reds and yellows,
oranges and purples.

Can’t you see I’m resting here?

Well, maybe one little peek,
Just a crack in the door
To see who’s calling.
That’s polite, isn’t it.

Oh my, look at you!

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Won’t you come in?
Have some coffee.
Sit and chat a bit,
Tell me what you see
From there.

where’d you go?

I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? ~ Isaiah 43:19

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