Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cultivated Mellow; Life as a Soul-Nurturing Retreat

It's a peaceful Saturday morning, here in west-central Florida. The temperature reading for my walk with Scout was around 65 and the pollen was, for the most part, keeping a low profile. When we returned I ground some coffee beans - Fair Trade "Equal Exchange" Colombian - and spent a half hour or so reading the morning paper with Rebekah.

Rebekah is still working today's crossword puzzle, occasionally sharing a clue for my opinion on a word choice. She's being deliberate about the mental exercise, jump-starting her consciousness with an early morning combination of fresh air, caffeine and brain gymnastics; she'll spend some devotional time on the bench out in the patio later, then head into the office to work on tomorrow's message.

I always enjoy the way morning unfolds around our house. There's a deliberate pattern each day, yes, but the process feels more like a purposeful meandering than a strict regimen. It's like we're participants in a soul-nurturing retreat, every day. Once in a while the routine is broken by early morning commitments; but - by and large - we launch each day with a kind of cultivated mellowness, and I'm thankful beyond words that we're able to do this.

Consequently, I write out of a peaceful heart. And it's not just because we're "middle-aged", empty-nesters, have cushy jobs, "successful", or financially secure. None of those factors are necessarily givens; they're all subject to change. Besides, Rebekah's work can be extremely stressful, my income goes up and down like a yo-yo, and good health has never been something we've been able to take for granted.

No, the fact that "I write out of a peaceful heart" has to do with faith, love, commitment, faithfulness, purpose, grace, and the fact that the work we're involved in is deeply meaningful.

Sometimes I'm behind and way too busy; sometimes Rebekah is dealing with heart-shattering situations; sometimes we're stretch beyond capacity because of our work, or financially, or regarding difficult people; sometimes we find ourselves over-committed; sometimes things simply don't go the way we had planned...

... But my peaceful heart does not depend on such things. My faith does not require assistance from happenstance, the vicissitudes of the economy, or the cooperation of a world which is itself in need of redemption.

In fact, as Paul put it so well in Romans 8 (read the entire chapter, it's an amazing piece of literature), the world is waiting for us to "get it"! Rather than our faith being dependent on the world around us lining up in our favor, the world around us is looking for those of us who love God to live as if what we preach is actually true!

I've got my mellow on:
So, yes, this morning is one more in a series of soul-nurturing retreats. I've got my mellow on, so to speak. And I'm thankful to God.

Love and blessings - DEREK

1 comment:

ericpet said...

I hear you, but alas 'mellow' and 'Abby' are mutually exclusive right now.