Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.”
― George MacDonald
“Mom, you doing some yoga down there?” Candace called down from upstairs.
“No, just cleaning my office and listening to some Christmas music…”
A few minutes later, she bounded down the steps, off to see a friend.
“What are you listening to?” she asked.
“Enya. It’s her Christmas album.”
“Since when do you listen to Enya?” she smiled.
“Since now,” I twirled.
“Wow. I see.”
“You’ve created a little Janell bubble here (as she drew an air rectangle).”
Let Nothing Disturb You (beautiful devotion by St. Teresa of Avila).
Do you want me to bring my incense down?” she laughed.
It was a fun little moment.
In actuality, I was following the advice of George MacDonald and creating a hushing atmosphere. Giving myself some space for “sacred idleness.” It only lasted about 20 minutes, but what a rich 20 it was!
Are you giving yourself permission for “sacred idleness” or “from-rushing-to-hushing-time” this week? Time to let the Light of the World shine down on you? I hope so. It is so very important to do so. If you need to, write yourself a permission slip.
Let me offer one of Teresa of Avila’s beautiful prayers to help you along:
We hear the Lord calling to us
and promising us his peace,
even when we are still caught up
in the pleasures and vanities of this world.
But so desirous is our Lord
that we should seek him
and enjoy the peace of his company,
that in one way or another
he never ceases calling us.
However slow we are to answer,
however unable or unwilling we are
to do his bidding at once,
we need not be downcast or discouraged.
God is willing to wait for us many a day,
and even many a year,
especially when perseverance
and good desires are in our hearts.
Perseverance is our essential first response
to God’s invitation to peace of soul.
What need we have of God’s mercy,
lest the easy attractions of the world
delude us into forsaking
what we have so tentatively begun,
lest we fail to persevere
in our desire to answer God’s invitation to peace.
We need to persevere
in our desire to love the Lord
and in our attempts to make some return to him
for so many proofs of his love,
especially his constant, persevering presence
in our soul.
This faithful lover never gives up on us.
However long we live,
we could never wish
for a better friend than God,
who even in this life
grants us a far greater peace
than we are able to desire.