Sunday, October 23, 2011

Words of Wisdom from The Daily Office - Part 8

Blogger's note: This entry is from my rehearsal notes from October 12. Enjoy!

As you know, your church staff spent last Thursday and Friday at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. What started in 2001 as a conference to equip and inspire young leaders (about 1500 attended the first one) has grown to a massive scale over the past 11 years. There were 13,000 in attendance in Atlanta this year – and there are additional conferences in the Catalyst “brand” across the US now as well. I’m not one who really enjoys huge crowds and high-adrenaline atmospheres (which has been a large part of the Catalyst experience, especially in recent years), but to learn from the teachers they bring in is worth the personal inconvenience and discomfort.

This year, however, there was a deliberate effort not to try to blow the top off the adrenaline meter with the music in the main sessions (there was still enough of that outside the venue … you’d have to go to one in order to understand). My adrenaline-bruised soul found it a welcome change. Wayne Mueller put it this way:

… we can work without stopping, faster and faster, electric lights making artificial day so the whole machine can labor without ceasing. But remember: No living thing lives like this. There are greater rhythms that govern how life grows … seasons and sunsets and great movements of seas and stars … We are part of the creation story, subject to all its laws and rhythms.

To surrender to the rhythms of seasons and flowerings and dormancies is to savor the secret of life itself.
Many scientists believe we are “hard-wired” like this, to live in rhythmic awareness, to be in and then step out, to be engrossed and then detached, to work and then to rest. It follows then that the commandment to remember the Sabbath is not a burdensome requirement from some law-giving deity – “You ought, you’d better, you must” – but rather a remembrance of a law that is firmly embedded in the fabric of nature. It is a reminder of how things really are, the rhythmic dance to which we unavoidably belong.

As I write this, it is approaching 3:00pm on Wednesday … my busiest day of the week. My soul is compressed by the must-get-done-before-this-evening-ness of life. I don’t share this stuff with you because I think I have a handle on it. I share it with you because I need it as desperately as any of you. God is not honored by my frantic pace; His work in my life is diminished by it. And I am not alone.

That’s enough to think about for now. The peace of Christ to you.


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