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Calm Amidst the Chaos

In Places of Rest and Beauty

He makes me to lie down in green pastures…Psalm 23:2

How good it is to rest awhile! How good it is to sit under a tree, lie down in a field, or plant your beach chair looking at Craigville, Covell’s or Dowse’s Beach! How good it is to feast your eyes on beauty!
We aren’t going far from home these days, but many of us feel fatigued. There is no denying that we want to get out, we want more variety in our lives, we want to go to dinner or shop without concerns. We want to walk with friends on the beach and meet with friends over a game of Bridge or Mahjong. We want to go to our grandchildren’s or children’s practices and games.

We are experiencing the fatigue of ordinary impulses being thwarted. We are experiencing the grief of having lost our sense of security and being able to participate in everyday activities. The grief and fatigue we experience as adults is magnified among our children or grandchildren, who feel the loss of school, teams, playtimes, keenly. Persons dealing with mental health issues also experience these losses with greater severity.

It is important to recognize our losses and the fatigue and grief we are experiencing. Healing comes from self-awareness and acceptance – from facts – and not denial and falsehood. The Psalmist, no doubt, would understand how we feel. David, the warrior – and we are in a “war” now – yearned for a peaceful moment, for a restful afternoon in green pastures. In the midst of conflict, he found that God was providing him verdant meadows of the spirit to restore and refresh his soul.
In this moment, you can pause and take a rest. You can let go of trying to be in control – an illusion easily unmasked in these times – and rest in God’s loving care. You can close your eyes and breathe deeply. You can open your eyes and behold beauty. God has given us beauty, and a sense of wonder, pause and notice, and you will experience the green pastures of the spirit, the ocean breezes of healing, the calm lake of contentment, even in this troubled time. Rest in God.
Help me to rest in your love, O God. Let me pause and bathe my senses with beauty. Let me let go for a moment to feel your sustaining love. Amen.

Rev. Dr. Kathy Harvey Nelson, DirectorCenter for Spiritual Formation, Inc.www.centerformation.org“Centered on Jesus, focused on grace and spiritual growth.”


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