I think it is one of God's little jokes that two people that I've tried to hold onto from our small hometown school district are probably about as polar as two people can be. One validates and encourages me, while the other challenges me and forces me to stretch my thinking.
Recently, my friend, Greg, got a new sailboat. He subsequently posted some pictures of one of his first outings. Oh my goodness, my brain totally took me there. You know, to the tune of all those cliches like feeling the sun kiss my cheeks while the breeze gently lifted the hair up off of my neck and shoulders, and soaking up the energy of the day like a sponge. I messaged Greg that I needed to put his video on continuous loop on my computer to keep me in that happy place. I'm relaxing now just thinking about it.
My friend, Stephanie, is part of an amazing family of mostly women who give without thought of cost or discomfort. On occasion, Tom and I invite ourselves for church services and Sunday lunch, or dinner as we say in the South. Sadly for us, we now live about an hour's drive away from Stephanie and her family, but we were more than happy to make the trip last weekend. Since all of them are engaged during the Sunday school hour, we knew they would stagger into the sanctuary. Each one hugged us with all the affection of a soldier's homecoming. Following heartfelt, spirit-filled worship, we headed on over to Stephanie's home. They cooked and we talked. We ate and we talked, and talked, and talked. Before I knew it I looked at my watch and was astounded to see it was nearly 6:00! Nothing like the fellowship of friends to refresh our souls.
Thinking about my friends, Greg and Stephanie, who are different in many ways, I realized they have not only discovered, but generously open doorways to a scarcity in our society, time to relax and refresh. What a gift! Maybe it's not just a gift, but a necessity. That made me think about the accounts of Jesus slipping away from the crowds and demands to a place of quiet and solitude. If the Son of God needed peace and quiet once in a while in order to complete the tasks set before Him, wouldn't we be wise to do the same? I'm so thankful for the respite Greg and Stephanie have offered. Makes me wonder why I don't seek it out more often. Do I make the same offer to others around me?
Where's your "happy place"? What do you do to "restore you soul"?
28 “Come to me,all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”