Life, it’s ever changing, ever moving, ever evolving and most definitely ever busy. The average American woman wakes up between 5am and 7am, makes breakfast, packs lunches, showers, gets ready for the work day, makes the bed, gets her children fed and ready for the day and then heads off to sit in traffic for either school drop offs, the office or both. We put in 8 or so hours at the office and repeat the cycle backwards at the end of the day, cook, homework, reading, getting unready, maybe some time for light reading, light television or light exercise and bed. In between this cycle there’s laundry, cleaning and organizing, grocery shopping, car maintenance, prayers, worship, the occasional friendly phone call, perhaps a casual dinner or movie out, kids sports, science fairs, book sales, school meetings and physician appointments. This is life. It’s all this daily grueling and sometimes mundane tasks that make up our days and our daily existence.
In this ever moving world we stay connected, informed if you will with what’s hot and what’s not. We stay plugged to social media. We shop through virtual clicks on our phones or tablets. We keep up with the circles of those whom are not even in our circles and yet we continue forth seemingly unaffected as this is the normal way of life. Life is so busy that a fast food drive thru seems like a respite to the daily tasks of preparing meals. Sitting in front of a screen is considered downtime as we “zone” out and self care is epitomized as taking a hot bubble bath and applying a clay mask.
And yet we are ever tired and ever restless.
Respite. It’s what we need but how do we truly seek it? I’m all for the luxurious bubble bath and pampering clay mask. I’m even for the weekly session of watching your top two or three favorite television shows or your guilty pleasure of pinning away gorgeous attire or motivational art on social media. These things spark our interest and invigorate our senses however as with all typical things these provide short spurts of temporary respite. They are delightful to engage in and should be engaged but the respite I’m referring to is a respite that not only invigorates but also soothes the soul and edifies the condition of the state of the human being. True respite I have found is when I can find a place of quiet retreat. When I can be in silence and solitude and comforted through His love. Where I can cry until my eyes have dried out from tears and I can feel set free and lighter. A respite that invites all my senses through sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell. Where beauty is in simplicity and elegance, where the taste of divine sacrifice and love is invited from the banquet to my soul, where the word gives life to what has been dead, where the scents of incense invite an undeniable peace and calmness.
This respite I find in the beauty of the church, in the beauty surrounding the church, in the beauty of the altar. I find it in the beauty of adoration and worship. I find it in the silence of my heart and in the open air. This respite pacifies me not only temporarily but also plants seeds of permanece, uprooting all that is weeded and entangled to make way for flowing waters of life. During this Lenten season, this spring season. I invite you all to truly consider what respite you are welcoming into your life. I encourage you to take time and consider the state of your soul and what your soul is needing. Nourish and cleanse your soul the way your body demands nourishing foods and cleansing of the skin. Take time to engage in purposeful silence, in purposeful reflection and scriptural meditation. Take time to be still and find true respite in the simplicity and elegance through the beauty and depth of the church.