My time away has come to an end but I pray that what I have learned will stay with me all of my days. What I learned was simple, so simple that is actually embarrassing that it took me three months away to learn it! I’d like to think I knew this, but my inter-mission/sabbatical allowed me the time to experience it. I learned that it is okay to STOP. Not do. Just be.
Confession time. My first two weeks off were unbearable. I was at loose ends. My son Tyler’s wedding plans were well underway and the big day was approaching, but there was really nothing left for me to do. My assigned tasks were done and I was going stir crazy. My closest circle said, “just relax”, “read a book”, “go for a walk”. So, I did. Boring. Let me accomplish something, I thought. So I finished off a knitting project that I has started 10 years ago and in a week I knitted an afghan, a baby blanket and started a shawl! Yikes!
I was four weeks in before my body, mind and spirit united, and without guilt, I sat. I didn’t feel guilty that I wasn’t reading, or writing, or walking, or knitting. I remember that moment when I sat alone on our balcony, the sun shining on my face and I just sat.
As Brian and I travelled we were both cognizant of just slowing down, seeing whatever sights we could and enjoying just being.
Giving myself the permission of just being, allowed me to take it in. To discover things about the world. To make space for new sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings. To make space for the sacred found in all of those things.
Everywhere we went we found a cathedral. While Brian explored its nooks and crannies, I sat. I prayed. I was just there.
For me, this time of “being” allowed me to worship God in new ways and to rediscover the lost art of being.
In doing so I also rediscovered the incredible power of gratitude. Gratitude for all things, big and small. Gratitude to a God that loves me so abundantly, and allows me the opportunity to serve Him. And gratitude to each of you for allowing me TIME to rediscover the lost art of being.
I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday!