Have you ever been someplace and felt you were totally there? I mean your mind was simply enjoying exactly what you were doing and thoughts of other places or times just did not play a part in your day? That is how I felt last week in Wisconsin.
Every day we woke up naturally with the sun shining in through the high peaked windows overlooking Little Round Lake. We got up, made coffee, ate breakfast, shared a devotional and quietly sat the morning away.
If you know us at all, you realize this was a forced relaxation. With temperatures at -18 to -24 each morning, we could not do what we came to do so waiting for the air to warm up became a necessity. When warm enough, (perhaps 0 degrees) we took our skis (or snowshoes) and headed outside to enjoy the beautiful day. I decidedly planned to be fully engaged, to pay attention to my surroundings and to the thoughts that naturally flitted in and out of my mind. I let my body do what it could on skis or snowshoes and enjoyed each new discovery.
That schedule was heavenly. I loved moving slowly without a calendar to check, meetings to schedule or plans pushing my day. Resting my mind and not thinking toward the next thing had a calming affect. Reading, writing, working with my camera and enjoying the darling cabin we were able to occupy, were enough.
(Oops, One of us slipped in some work time along with his quiet reading!)
I want to remember that impression, to have that mindset, even in the midst of many activities. A mind at rest enables joy to be much more accessible; life feels full of possibility.
I do have some help with this.
Isaiah 30:15 In quietness and trust is your strength.
1 Timothy 2:2 Pray that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Psalm 23:2 He leads me beside the still waters
Matthew 11:28 Come to me…and I will give you rest
That last one is the key, I’d say. Come to Christ, even in the midst of much activity, and He will give us what we need. That is also a part of rest, coming to Him to give us what we cannot give ourselves: a lifting of the burdens meant only for him to bear… our sin, our fear, our anxiety, our unknown future. He alone has taken care of all that so we do not need to live in a stressful state.
So I’ll look back on little cabin #27, the beauty of the icicle forming on the porch, the snow covered lake, the stately quiet woods surrounding us and realize that the lack of schedule was not the key. Resting in the beauty of the moment, remembering God’s gifting and deciding to move more slowly are not limited to a week’s vacation in a cabin. They are meant for our daily lives as well. This is a mindset that will enable us to love our lives fully even in the midst of whatever is asked of us on any given day.