I don’t often take breaks from my blog because I fear I’ll lose what few readers I have. I’m trying to learn to let go of a lot of things and counting the numbers is one of them. It’s hard, because what other measure do we have of if we’re good enough at our craft?
I thought the week away, in the mountains surrounded by a different view of creation, I thought our family hike, time spent laughing with friends, hearing good teachers, I thought all of that would fill me with words to share. That’s how it’s been before. My mind racing to get the words down on paper.
This year was different. I’ve got nothing. While our time felt full and easy, the words aren’t bubbling up inside. It was a week to soak in rather than pour out.
It was a time to grab my camera and walk around the outside of the old stone chapel taking pictures of the flowers in bloom while listening to the preacher’s voice coming through the open stained glass windows. Not once did I crowd in on the wooden benches, getting distracted watching others sing or the band playing. Instead, my mind listened while my fingers snapped the shutter again and again. A voice carried over the stone floor and walls through open windows in the early mornings when the mist hangs on the lake just beyond.
I put the camera down and got in the raft to go ride the white waters of the Nantahala with our group of men in recovery. The water intentionally splashed on us by the other rafts in our group felt like buckets of ice water dropping in our laps. We screamed and paddled faster and screamed some more. I let my hair stay a crazy mess when 40+ came to dinner at our house that night.
We ate the best blackberry pie and mumbled words we barely knew to whatever the guitar player strummed after dinner. And I soaked it in. The smiles, the community, the hugs…all of it seemed intended to fill rather than share.
I know, I’m sharing it now but just glimpses of what I think God is trying to do right now. He’s trying to fill some spaces in me that have been shallow and dry. The reserves aren’t always there.
Has that been you? Have you been in that place where you can only give from what sometimes feels forced? Where is it that our creator Father takes you for filling?
Giving is part of our Christian calling. Jesus showed us servant leadership when he fed the crowds and washed the feet of his followers. He told stories of caring for others and not ignoring those in need. He also spoke of taking a break, of getting away to the other side of the lake. He went to the hills or a garden to pray. Even the Son of God needed to be filled from his Father.
This verse has been with me from the start of this blog. It says so clearly what we need to hear and know.
“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. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 the Message
What kind of break might you need? How is he filling your soul?