Monday, November 28, 2011

Sacred Rhythms

I started reading a book today that I will be reviewing with a friend, called 'Sacred Rhythms' by Ruth Haley Barton. To quote the first paragraph,

"One of the things that still surprises me this far along in life is how and when and with what power my longing stirs. Certain times are fairly predictable - times when I am tired from travel and missing home and family, seasons when I have been overly busy and long to be with God for God's own sake, certain moments in the holiday season when I hunger for a deeper experience of the meaning of things. To some extent I have grown accustomed to these longings and know what to do with them. But there are other times when longing ambushes me with a ferocity that seems all out of proportion to what is going on at the moment; it catches me up short with the awareness that something here warrants my attention. Although the experience of longing and desire is often bittersweet, it reminds me that I am alive in ways that I want to be alive."

I could not have summed it up better myself. At times, I become very frustrated at the status quo or the way other people decide to operate. I recall getting all worked up a few months ago because I didn't want to celebrate the pagan holiday of Christmas with all its commercial, wishwashy schemes. I love taking the time to be with family, sharing in a meal together, playing games, and just relaxing. More than this, I love helping other people who have nothing. I would much rather spend my $400 in gifts on someone who doesn't receive much throughout the rest of the year or feed someone whose belly is in knots. I would love for our little family some year (meaning myself, Cameron, and our future children) to forgo the 'pleasures' of 'Christmas' to serve others. That has been my dream for awhile. Cameron doesn't disagree with me, but when I brought the idea up to his mother, she started crying and telling me I was abandoning family. Sort of besides the point (we'll do whatever we're called to do), but it does make it more difficult.

I believe in this section of her book, Ruth is more highlighting the longing of her heart to spend time with the Lord, but I read it differently at first. And, through service, I am following the example of my Lord and I ALWAYS feel closer to Him when I humble myself and give sacrificially.

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