This is day 10 of 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. Today, I’m sharing a previously published Sabbath Society letter for a public peek into what quietly slides into the inboxes of hundreds every week. And as providence would have it, I AM actually headed to the Cotswolds again today. If you have just joined this series, it’s important to begin here and find the collection of letters here. We’re breaking for Sabbath every Sunday. Welcome!
As school starts back up and London bustles once again after a quiet August, I’ve been intentional about establishing rhythm to my days that help keep me focused. September 1st is like New Year’s Day only we should probably call it New Beginnings Day or something like that.
Don’t you agree that those weeks that let us know summer is over and it’s time to get back to business are kind of like a clean slate; an opportunity to begin anew?
I’m swallowing vitamins again, walking daily, taking photographs of what inspires and sitting in the chair producing paragraphs and chapters. What I’m not doing is keeping Facebook open all day and checking emails. That waits until I’ve met my writing goal; the distractions are too tempting for me.
Lest this sounds like a fairy tale existence, I will share one important word with you: Interruption.
Interruptions are inevitable. This week H’s back has kept him from sleeping and Harrison came home on his first Monday back at school with a terrible head cold. I hadn’t planned on taking care of sick people when I was thinking about ordering my week.
As I explore new parts of London, walking through Holland Park every morning this week, I’m learning something important about making Sabbath a rhythm.
At first, my walks were about paying attention so I didn’t get lost. Google was coming through earbuds telling me which way to turn. Very little prayer was happening. I was mindful of traffic at crosswalks, looking for road signs and making mental notes in order to retrace my steps back.
Each day I walked the same route until I was no longer thinking about directions or distracted by the voice of Google Maps. Walking to the park became second nature. I began paying attention in ways that help my soul breathe deeper.
Yesterday, unaware of time, I sat down for a few minutes on a park bench and listened to the words of worship closely. A few minutes later, I was praying for strangers and then taking pictures of Light illuminating sunflowers. God was speaking to me through my surroundings. I share a bit about that on the blog.
Captivated by the nearness of Jesus, nothing else really mattered.
Rest becomes second nature when Sabbath is a rhythm instead of something we fit in to our busyness. Like my daily walks to a new place, the more we practice the rhythm of abiding with Him, the more we long to be in His presence, even if all we can give is one hour.
I’ve had a lot of interruptions to my well-thought out plans for the week, but my walks have sustained me. As the week progresses, my people are showing signs of healing and I am showing signs of weariness.
I long for Sabbath because I know He will meet me, filling me with all of His goodness in the same way I know Light will always overcome the darkness.
The sunflowers reminded me of that.
I’ll be taking a walk in some new territory this week. Because of the generosity of some new friends, I’m headed to a house in the Cotswold today for a private writing retreat. This deadline thing is serious, people. Pray for me?
How can I pray for you this week? Let’s plead heaven together, shall we?
Until next week . . .
Resting with you,