Gratitude Day 601
Psalm 16:9 – My heart and soul explode with joy—full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure.
It’s a story that I never tire of.
I’m not sure if it is true or not. I’m not sure if it really matters. Here’s how it goes.
An American businessman had climbing Mount Everest on his bucket list. He prepared for the climb and traveled to Nepal to complete his dream. Because money was no object, he hired his own crew of local guides and Sherpas to assist him with the climb. The guides had a carefully laid-out plan with appropriate distance and climate acclimation included so the climb would be done appropriately and safely.
Soon into the climb, it became clear the businessman wasn’t interested in following the guide’s plan, even though this is what he agreed to before the climb began. The businessman was confident a couple days could be shaved off the climb, which he wanted to do. He’d scheduled an important business meeting before the climb was supposed to be completed and planned on keeping the meeting.
By day two of the climb, the businessman insisted on traveling farther each day. The Sherpas were not prepared for the additional traveling, as they had supplies and overnight accommodations established by the pre-determined schedule. The guides insisted the Sherpa’s follow the businessman’s schedule because, well, he was paying for it all.
On the fourth or fifth day into the ascent, the businessman climbed out of his tent, ready for another day of climbing. Normally, the Sherpas would have his coffee prepared and waiting for him. Breakfast would quickly be brought to him. Other Sherpas would be breaking down camp and getting things prepared for the day’s climb.
But this morning was different. The Sherpas were sitting around the fire, drinking their coffee and chatting. When the businessman asked where his coffee was, they pointed to the pot hanging over the fire. He was not happy that he needed to pour his own cup. As he did so, he asked why the Sherpas weren’t breaking up camp. “We must get going!” he insisted. Daylight was burning.
But none of the Sherpa’s moved. He turned to the guides and insisted they demand the Sherpas begin taking down his tent. The guides simply sipped their coffee and stared into the fire, ignoring the businessman’s requests.
Of course, the businessman kept badgering the group. By now he was getting hysterical and threatening to withhold the rest of their payment if they did not follow his orders.
There was a long silence after the businessman again made his demands. Finally, the eldest Sherpa spoke. He shared how his group of guys had followed the man’s demands, even though they felt his requests were unreasonable. They had accommodated his every request. Until today. Today, they would be staying in camp all day. The mules needed to rest. The Sherpa’s needed to rest. While their bodies had been progressing and moving up the mountain, their souls had not. Today, they needed to wait for their souls to catch up with their bodies.
Yep. Their bodies had gotten too far in front of their souls. And it was time to reunite them.
Ever had this feeling?
There is a simple way to deal with this problem: be like the Sherpa’s and allow your soul to catch up.
This is why God created the Sabbath. This is why we need Sabbath. This is what is behind the concept of taking a day of rest off every week.
I know that many people feel this isn’t possible. I’ve been one of “those” people for much of my life. I’ve worked jobs that required working the weekend, working 7 days a week, and/or was demanding. What I didn’t realize is that even with these challenges, time to let your soul rest is necessary. Imperative. Mandatory.
We can try to keep going this route for periods of time. Many of us have. But there comes a time when we all need some down time. A break. Time to do nothing.
If it can’t be a day, then make it the period of time that you feel you can. Listen to the Sherpa’s. Even if our physical bodies can, our spiritual souls may not be able to.
What qualifies as Sabbath and rest? I’ll let you pick this. You do you. What is rest for you may not be rest for me and vice versa. But filling your day with endless activities and accomplishments is not rest, in my opinion. Rest is much more organic, unplanned and casual. If you feel like you need a break after your day of rest, then, maybe it’s not really a day of Sabbath.
One of the most important aspects of rest time is simply being OK with allowing yourself this space. Too often, we don’t feel we can. Or get down on ourselves when we need/take downtime. Today, simply with OK with less. Give yourself permission to do so. I think you body and your soul will thank you.
For the opportunity for my soul to catch up to my body today, I am grateful.
Lord God – It’s so easy to get busy and go and go and go. But we all have limits. The Martha’s of this world really do need at least some Mary in their lives. May we embrace the concept of rest and Sabbath today. Help our minds and bodies celebrate this opportunity today. Amen.
Stop by diannedeatonvielhuber on Instagram today for a few more thoughts about today’s Lenten topic.
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