This is day 14 in a new series: 31 Letters from London. In October, I’m doing something a little different and writing to you about the realities of life as an expat; finding the nearness of God through random experiences with new culture. It’s important to begin here and find the collection of letters here. We’re breaking for Sabbath every Sunday.
As I focus on writing chapters of my book in the Cotswolds this week, I’m sharing Daily Thoughts originally broadcast on Premier Christian Radio. You can listen to it here. Slide cursor to minute 30:54 to hear me.
During the years I lived in the coastal South of the US, I became skittish about gardening. Almost every species of snake live in the region of the country we called home so I became hyper vigilant while digging in the soil. Sudden movement underneath mulch often resulted in screams and running; embarrassing myself in front of neighbors for what was often a just a frog jumping.
But oddly enough, I became fond of a small lizard during one particular winter. A lizard hibernating on vagrant leaves of a potted plant in our garage.
Surrounded by garden shovels, Christmas boxes awaiting return to the attic and a gaggle of sports equipment, I enjoyed a binocular view of hibernation by practicing Selah – a pause in the midst of errands, carpool and work to pay attention and listen, in this case, to what God wanted to teach me through a lizard.
The second stage of dormancy is rest. And rest is controlled not by the outside environment but from within the organism. No matter how many times my family walked by that lizard, nothing would coax it into movement. My lizard lived on the reserves stored up during previous active seasons, lingering in the same position for months until an inner clock said Go.
It is the same for us. Whether in seasons of spiritual winter or weekly weariness, resiliency is fueled by previous rest periods.
Regular pauses allow us to think and measure the cost of our actions before moving through a transition. Stillness, quiet, and abiding help us move forward with confidence in the Go from Jesus, not in our circumstances.
Jesus’ work was never finished. There were sick to heal, hungry to feed, demons to cast out; yet he awakens before sunrise for solitude and rest to commune with the Father. (Mark 1:35)
Wherever you find yourself, practice Selah. Pause and think before allowing circumstance to dictate your inner worth or perspective to become lopsided. And just like my pet lizard, the more you trust the work of rest inside you, the more inclined you will be to hear the Go from God when it is time to fulfill purpose.