Study Break 2011:4

This morning’s reading from the BCP included this snippet, credited to Dorothy Day:

To just lie in the sun and let God work on you is to be sitting in the light of the Sun of Justice, and the growth will be there, and joy will grow and spread from us to others. That is why I like to use so often that saying of St. Catherine of Siena: ‘All the Way is Heaven, because He said I am the Way.’ 

And then a reading from Bread In the Wilderness, which my mom pressed into my hands and encouraged me to consider carefully this week:

The Israelites were able to reach the promised land, in part, because they remembered Moses and his father-in-law…perhaps there is a lesson for you and me, self-sufficient North Americans, people on the move, writing out our goals and working toward them, making the world a better place. Perhaps there is a still, small voice speaking to us too. “What you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out…The task is too heavy…You cannot do it alone. (Exodus 18.17-18)

And then Eugene Peterson, in writing about the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, says this:

God is emphatically personal; God is only and exclusively God in relationship…We do not know God by defining hi but by being loved by him and loving in return. This is living, not thinking about living; living with, not performing for.

In the hours of this day, in which I had planned to read and thinking and contemplate and write, I managed instead to do very little of those things. I talked and listened and waited and accepted. This day of my break had very little of the element of escape and isolation I usually seek out. Tethered to issues at home, I was on the phone and writing emails and seeking to serve my extended family.

I cannot help but reflect on this: that all the way is heaven, because Jesus said “I am the Way”.  And that living with – doing the daily duties of my life – moves me deeply into the relationship with the God I serve.

And that perhaps this desire to organize the chaos of my life, write out my goals and make the world a better place – perhaps this is not altogether a good thing. Maybe I am to simply be still. Lie in the sun. Listen to the rain.

A quick aside, after the confessional tone of one of my previous posts: I appreciate the encouraging words, here on the blog and via Facebook. That wasn’t my intent, but I am grateful for them. Interestingly, though, tonight I was sitting at Panera reading. Unkempt, more or less (because I am at the beach, after all), with a simple knit sundress (i.e. NOT TIGHT AROUND THE WAIST!) and flip flops, I was a comfortable beach bum. And a lady walked by and said, “By the way, I love your dress. It’s so cute. You look great.” Smiled and walked away.


I heard God laughing. I laughed with Him.

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