Take Time To Breathe
We "wear" activity and busyness as a badge of honour.
My world is surrounded by individuals who are convinced that activity brings life and all movement is forward. Truth is, not all movement or activity creates or sustains life. "Moving on", "Moved on", "Cut off", "Bridges burned" are all popular euphemism’s for having taken control of one’s present status.
Take time to breathe.
The Shepherd psalm is one of my favourites. Its metaphors deal with three fundamental factors.
1. We are entrusted to a shepherd that will lead us and care for us
2. Safe provision and sustenance in the midst of anxiety are assured.
3. There is a specific pathway that must be followed in order to remain safe, sustained and secure.
Historically, (and still in many countries today), the shepherd takes responsibility to lead his flock to places of refreshing and nourishment, a midst a barren and dangerous environment. Sheep are created uniquely in that their noses and mouth are submerged during drinking. Turbulent waters can drown them quite easily; therefore the shepherd would often lay upstream from the sheep, causing the waters to be held back, thus creating calm pools (he leads me beside the still waters) for the sheep to drink.
Sheep that choose to run ahead of the shepherds and launch into the waters will often drown or be carried away in their rush to be refreshed and sustained.
It’s easy to obtain, but difficult to sustain.
We live in "The Now" world!
Waiting and patience is now uncommon to western society. We hate queues, are often intolerant, and demand our possessions now! After all, we are worth it? Why shouldn't we have the best now? "Sign on the line and make it yours" the marketers tell us.No deposit, instant finance, delayed payments!
Remember dial-up speeds? These days we moan and groan if we cant download a file in 3 minutes!
We have imbibed an age of intolerance and character traits such as patience, peace, kindness, forbearance, gentleness, self-control and love are in short supply.
It concerns me that many can gain all, yet lose everything, for what profit is there in having much but no peace in which to enjoy it.
One’s soul consists of mind, will and emotions. If one’s mind is set on self-gain in order to sustain a ravenous will, then no true peace will be found, at any cost.
Provision is a by-product of spiritual rest.
Many years ago, I was observing a greyhound dog speeding across the fields and it was only when it stopped that I could see it only had three legs. It was incomplete, yet had developed a process by which it could regain its former activity. Many are like that greyhound! At full pace, things look normal, when in reality they are not.
Often tragedies and events happen in life in order for us to prioritise the present that in time will define ones future.
Activity is not life, although life can come out of activity.
Clinical death is the medical term for cessation of blood circulation and breathing, the two necessary criteria to sustain life. It occurs when the heart stops beating in a regular rhythm, a condition called cardiac arrest. The term is sometimes used in resuscitation research.
It is possible therefore; that an individual can have no outward signs of life and yet be alive! Show signs of life and yet be dead! The human soul can show all the signs of actual life and yet its activities are dead.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He leads me besides the still waters
Taking time to breathe, means taking time for restoration! Being restored is not a one off event it is a daily process. There is no system, regime or event that can precipitate ones refreshing other than the personal responsibility to:
1. Be led
2. Be still
3. Be refreshed
Restoration by definition: is to take something back to its original state. It is not a repair or a re-fit, it is a complete stripping back to the bare bones of what we were created to be. One cannot earn it, or be active in order to facilitate it. It has nothing to do with self and everything to do with the shepherd, who will lead us, feed us and restore us.
Presently, (like the three legged dog), many are at full tilt searching for significance. Yet it’s not found in the whirl wind experience, nor the lightening in the storm, but a still small voice that is heard in this rest, from beside the streams of refreshing!
It's a lonely place to be, as there is no fill-in music, no motivational speaker nor lighting or ambiance, it is the bare bones of creation. The breath of life.
Slow down, prioritise your activities and Take Time To Breathe.