There are times when you need to get away and you need it as bad as you need air.
When E’s Mom was living at the house, I took mini-Sabbaths often at Wal-Mart amidst the patio furniture. It’s a far cry from a pine forest or waves lapping against your feet, but hey, sometimes you have to take what’s readily available. At work I go outside just to hear the birds and maybe throw them some bread from my sandwich. Or I take a short walk and gaze up at the clouds to remind myself that it’s all still there. I find those times are crucial for my emotional and mental well-being.
I have always been attracted to the idea of praying the hours, the idea of taking a set time each day for prayer. To me, the morning and the evening are Holy and I feel I have missed something if I don’t get to see the sunrise or see His grand artwork in the sky at the close of day. When I first started having a regular prayer time, it usually went pretty much the same. I would start with praise, thanking Him for anything and everything that came to mind, then I would pray for specific needs of people for myself or others.
Now, I try to follow His leading more. Sometimes I ramble on and sometimes I sit in silence. Sometimes I just breathe and meditate on God’s goodness, and that is a prayer too. Sometimes I use my prayer language and sometimes, like Margaret, I use just a few words…..peace, or hope or sometimes just help! (I use that one a lot)
When I willingly get off the merry-go-round even for a moment, and get in tune with God’s rhythm I have found that something within me expands…….the world gets smaller and He gets bigger.
If I can, I extend my prayer time by a morning walk. I have always been a nature girl with my ear to the ground waiting to learn the secrets God reveals through what He has made. The desert captures you slowly. You resist at first seeing only the thorny plants, the relentless heat, but then the desert blooms and the lightning strikes and wonder abounds.
It speaks to those who listen. All of nature does. It holds mysteries that only God knows the answers to. How the Cactus wren can land and live in the giant Saguaros without getting impaled is beyond me. Each time I see them land, I almost want to close my eyes. But God has shown them just how to do it.
These quail babies at 4 days old are totally out of the nest and on their feet following Mama……I have seen as many as eight!
And this mourning dove I saw when I took my walk early one morning, safely nesting between the barbs of this cactus, God knows she will be safe there from predators. She looked out at me calmly serene in her surroundings, at peace as I strolled on by.
Observing the wonder of God’s creation is one way we can honor Him and in order to properly do that, we need to slow down long enough to see it. I love how Margaret Feinberg puts it:
Making time to pause isn’t just a holy opportunity but a divine command. Pg. 67
And when we follow God’s leading by making one day different from all the rest, we enter into His rest and then we see why it’s so important. We no longer think of the things we can’t do but the things we gain by taking a Sabbath. God wants it for us because it’s for our good. I am so grateful for Wonderstruck, because it has reminded me that living a life of wonder is really the only way to live.
Wonder is a way we can bring eternity right into the here and now.
Sometimes you have to slow to a stop and reset before you can experience divine presence, my hunger to know God increased as I learned how to develop a healthy rhythm in life and rediscovered the wonder of rest. Margaret Feinberg