The Practical Art of Being Renewed

Every Weekend at a Thirst for God we will be encouraging you, our fellow pilgrims,  to develop a practice of intentional Sabbath.  Both of us have learned rest and renewal doesn’t just happen, it is prayed for, invited, and planned for. 

Nothing, in my life,  really seems to completely die, but only to change or go dormant for a time.  Spring.  Summer.  Fall.  Winter. Me. Each has its’ time of full bloom and dormancy. No “thing” among us is active continually without Sabbath…without a soft landing before takeoff.

Take writing.  I stopped once.  For good. Quit.  Writing had lost its’ luster and changed. Technology roared, and ate me up a bite at a time. So I stopped.  I didn’t know “Sabbath” was what I needed….what writing needed.

Renewal happened as I let go of the demand that writing be perpetual.  I did let it go, and relaxed happily into creating notecards with fresh flowers from the field.  I stood back and loved them with my eyes. God saw that it was good, and blew fresh wind into my sails.

Writing waited.  Took root.  Sent out new shoots.  Finally, it re-emerged, flowered, and rose again from its’ early grave.  It shook off the dirt, removed the graveclothes, and came alive. What had lain quietly in a necessary sabbath had gathered strength and become new in the stillness. It now responded to the call to “Come forth!”

Just see….God does lean down and call “a thing” into service for a time. And then…………..not.  Now, the Spirit moves, and calls forth something else from us and for the Kingdom.  Spirit life is fluid and alive…a teeming river of God moving through us at the command of the King.

I dare not demand that a thing–anything– remain forever. Not classes, not service opportunities, not church programs, not youth.   Life itself is a river, and keeps moving always and swiftly.  Rather, I can press my ear to the heartbeat of God and hear where He chooses to work “now”. And I can join Him in His work.

My writing had lain as under a pile of autumn leaves.  Quietly and without movement. Sabbath did a good work.  Then, God bent down, struck a match, and life leapt–stretched high and wild.  In the silence, some things had “married”.  The new flavor surprised  and energized me.  It had become new: a flame lit by God.

Good Shepherd had entered my garden by the gate.  He held the key and knew when to come and when to leave.  He knew when the flavors would “marry” and how long it would take, and when to light the fire.

Sabbath had done its’ work even as I rested.  So it is.  So it will ever be.

“Friend, as you enter this weekend, may you allow it to marinate peace and joy into your imperfect world as you lay aside the unnecessary, and receive small draughts of sabbath renewal.”

Small Sabbath Sip
10 Min
Step onto your porch, lift your head to the heavens.  Allow them to speak of the presence of God and His everlasting faithfulness.  Breathe deeply.
Close your eyes.  Rest.

There is, after all, such a thing….as God….in me….hope of glory.

Linda Andersen

Check out Linda’s books on Sabbath:

The Too-Busy Book: Slowing Down to Catch Up with Life

and Interludes: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Personal and Spiritual Rest

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