Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I always think that once Easter is over, things will slow down in the church for a while, and every year I am wrong. There is always more to do, more meetings, more activities, more ministries, more, more, more.

Now, being busy is good - it is the sign of a healthy church and it shows how much God is doing through the many people here. The problem I run into is balance. Trying to balance everything that is going on with my own spiritual and physical health. As many of you know, I am a boarderline workaholic, so I have to be very careful not to overextend myself and make the time I need to rest and spend time in prayer and devotions.

And the way the world is today, I think many of us fall into this category. We always get so busy with activities we are running to that we need the time to slow down. God talks about this as well - it is one of the reasons that he created the sabbath. We need that down time. We need to rest and enjoy the beauty of creation. We need to recharge our batteries and stop running through life so that we can enjoy life.

Balance is the key - and sometimes balance takes work. It takes work to take time away from work. It takes work to make time with God. It takes work to slow down because it is too easy to get caught up in the river of life.

So I am going to try to pracitice what I preach - to make more time with family and friends. To take time to enjoy everything that I have been blessed with. I still have a lot of activities to do here, and I love doing them, but if I am rested then the activities seem to go smoother and I enjoy them all the more.

So my prayer today is that you will make the time to slow down and enjoy everything you have been given. Call a friend or family member you haven't talked to in awhile. Take you child out for a walk. Spend time playing with the cat or dog. Celebrate your life, for you have been blessed, and we all need to celebrate these blessings.


Betty Dygart said...

I returned to the ear doctor this morning. Taking the steroids for three weeks brought no change in the hearing in my left ear. The doctor ordered an MRI, which I will have early tomorrow morning at the hospital. They are looking for a tumor.

Again, I am ready for whatever God ordains. I don't feel like I have a tumor, although I did have to go to bed early on Easter evening with a splitting headache.

It's good that the exam is to be done so soon. I fly out to visit Nathan Thursday morning. I won't know the results, but it will be good to have it done with, knowing I have done everything that can be done, for now.

"Being busy" is a thing some people are experts at doing. I have a sister-in-law who is always the first to pop up from the table, beginning to clear the dishes, even before everyone is finished eating. As I get older, it bothers me less, because I know it is something she feels compelled to do. She is not comfortable unless she is "doing something."

However, we miss so much when we don't take time to "just be." Ironically, this thing with my ear has made me listen more to my inner self. It's like I am cushioned away, inside of myself. I have taken to playing my symphony CDs, listening to each instrument in its turn, while I work on my computer. The violins, especially, pull me in. They can be so mournful one minute and then, lift you up on a building crescendo.

The doctor said, "If the MRI is negative, then all we can do is wait. I want to see you again in six months. You call me four days after the MRI and I will have the results."

Waiting. I can do that. Waiting is good. It implies something may happen. I choose to believe that the something will be good. My Cat Psalms discuss waiting as well...

"I can wait.
They make me wait for things.
I must wait while they decide.
They decide what I need, what I want, what I will have.
Sometimes I wait without looking.
Sometimes I wait staring at them, I wait expecting something good -- a tasty snack, dinner, a toy, a pat, a scratch under my neck, an open door.
They surprise me.
I receive what I did not know was in the refrigerator, on the counter, in the cupboard.
I wait with hope.
I wait as a cat must wait and wait and wait.
Waiting is more than begging.
When I wait, I expect, I long for, I count on them.
I sit still and wait to be rewarded.
Or I touch them, cry out, rub against them.
I make sure they know I am there, waiting.
They notice my waiting, and they are impressed."

O God, I wait for you. Help me to wait believing. I wait for what I can never reach, never make, never deserve. I wait even for what I do not know is there. Waiting opens tomorrow, or now, or forever. Waiting keeps a horizon before my soul. Waiting grows inside me, unfolding, opening, expecting, receiving. I wait as a bud waits for the root to open the bloom. I wait for what was and will be. I wait to be sure of what is. Waiting is the joy of not yet having, not yet seeing, and learning to believe. My soul waits, learning to be sure of you. O God, my soul waits for what you promise is already here.

sue stoddard said...

Pastor E.
This is from the book "True Wealth". It is a reflection I was going to use for next month's board devotions if I can't find anything on "opportunities".


To get the most out of life we must take time to live as well as to make a living. We must practice the art of filling our moments with enriching experiences that will give new meaning and depth to our lives.

We should take time for good books; time to absorb the thought of poets and philosophers, seers and prophets.

Time for music that washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Time for friendships; time for talks by the fire and walks beneath the stars.

Time for laughter; time for letting go and filling the heart with mirth.

Time for travel; time for pilgrimage and festival, for shrine and exhibit, for rockbound coast and desert, mountain and plain.

Time for nature; time for flower gardens, trees, birds, and sunsets.

Time to love and be loved, for love is the greatest thing in the world.

Time for people; time for the interplay of personalities and the interchange of ideas.

Time for solitude; time to be quiet and alone and to look within.

Time for worship; time for opening our lives to God's infinite springs of vitality, that we may live moree abundantly.

In all ways let us make our moments glow with life. Let us pray as did Matthew Arnold: "Calm, calm me more, nor let me die, before I have begun to live."

-Wilferd A. Peterson