Archives

June begins

June, the month of summer. Children are out of school, and I hear them across the fields at their play.

I remember being a kid in summer, constantly outside in play and adventure. We swam until we got hungry. We played board games on the porch at my aunt and uncle’s house when the sun got too hot. I don’t remember ever getting bored. There were fields to roam, projects to construct, neighbors to call for ball games in empty lots, and dinner with the family each evening.

There was church on Sundays and mid-week when one of my friends could come stay with us a few days and then return at next service time. Our annual church convention brought an overnight stay in a motel, a sort of vacation for us. And there was a week at youth camp, up in the mountains where the days were sweltering and nights made us pull on the blankets. Open aired cabins with bunk beds were the places for making friends. The girls wore their hair in curlers all day long, our heads wrapped in scarves, so we could look pretty for church at night.

They were wonderful days.

Some call it the lazy days of summer. Having grown into an adult, I’ve not lived a lazy life. Circumstances beyond my control loaded me with responsibility. It has been my lot to move, to get things done. I stayed on task and accomplished as much as possible in a day, often falling into bed exhausted just to set the alarm to begin it all over again tomorrow.

This month of June seems like an invitation, like a Sabbath calling me.  There are no piano lessons this month. An upcoming procedure will keep us close to home. No travel plans ahead. My calendar is looking strangely blank.

Something calls to me to rest, to sit idle, to be still. My body feels it, the pull to nurture myself; to wander instead of power walk; to tread gently in the gardens and enjoy the summer beauty without focusing on the weeds; to spend time with books and to play the piano for the pure pleasure of it.

I am reading Wendell Berry’s New Collected Poems. He is a Kentucky native and a lover of the land, like I am. He writes:

“The aged voices of a few crickets thread the silence. It is a quiet I love, though my life too often drives me through it deaf. Busy with costs and losses, I waste the time I have to be here–a time blessed beyond my deserts, and I know, if only I would keep aware. The leaves rest in the air, perfectly still. I would like them to rest in my mind as still, as simply spaced.”     — The Sorrel Filly

This is what I am craving – the quiet I love. I’ve lived under pressure many days. I’ve rushed from one appointment to another, driving in the fast lane. I’ve made the long lists of things that needed to be done, and I’ve checked them off one by one.

It will be challenging for me to slow. I hesitate to even write it here, like I’m making a promise, a promise to myself. It is my nature to do things, and there is always, always something to do. But I am compelled to pursue what pursues me. Perhaps it is the Spirit calling me to come away, to listen for the hushed calm, to be still and know my God.

[Jesus] said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while”—for there were many people who were continually coming and going, and they could not even find time to eat.”  — Mark 6:31, AMP

I can linger on the deck in the early morning, before the thermostate rises high enough to send me indoors. I can sip my coffee slowly, because it never get too hot for coffee. I can listen carefully without distration. I can be observant, looking deeply at the flower or at the face in front of me. I can hear what my heart has to say.  I can ponder the questions that mystify me. I can be quiet.

I can choose to make June a month of rest, a Sabbath. And I shall see what joy awaits me that I might have missed in my hurrying.

101_1569101_1568101_1572

 

Be still

I am taking my thoughts from a song playing at the Wright House today.

Make no mistake, music is a powerful force.  It can be used for good.  It can be used for something else all together.  It stirs our emotions, reminds us of an experience, speaks to our hearts, calls us to action, gives strength to go forward.

This day I am doing spiritual battle with these words to my heart:  Be Still My Soul.

I can cease from my own efforts to set things right.  I can trust my God who knows the way that I take and has gone before me.  I am plunging headlong into the rivers of His grace.

I don’t have to be in control.  My trying is futile.  I will rest in the unhurried rhythms of grace today, releasing the worries of my mind, knowing He is in control.

water and sky

Photo by Kelly Hay.  Visit her site for more beautiful pictures.

If you want some stillness, come and join in the song.

Be Still My Soul by Don Moen

Be still my soul, Be still my soul
Cease from the labor and the toil
Refreshing springs of peace await
The troubled minds and hearts that ache

Be still my soul, God knows your way
And He will guide, For His name’s sake
Plunge in the rivers of His grace
Rest in the arms of His embrace

Be still my soul, Be still my soul
Though battles round you rage and roar
One thing you need and nothing more
To hear the whisper of your Lord

Be still My child
I know your way
And I will guide
For My name’s sake
Plunge in the rivers of My grace
Rest in the arms of My embrace