Tag Archives: rest

New Website! Come and see Lakelight.

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As of this week, Rowan and I have a new website up and running, which we are excited to share with you.  It’s called Lakelight and it is intended to be the beginning of a vision we are called to build, a Christian sanctuary for the lost and the weary. Do come and have a look.

If you like what you see, we’d love you to join us on the next stage of the journey as we add content, by following the blog and/or subscribing to our infrequent mailing list.  Use the contact form or email us at subscribe@lakelight.org to tell us what you think!

Here is the first blog post “On Not Getting a Grip”

https://lakelight.org/2017/08/05/foundations-on-not-getting-a-grip/

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Landscape of Love 100: Oasis

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Sahara stopover, Gobi getaway, motorway mirage, where the imaginary camels drink their fill, until, running, stumbling upon the reality of dunes we also claim the resting place. Time stops, the news has no outlet here, the world is, albeit for a short while, just you and the sand, you and the cool water. And in the quiet, under the palm trees, the eternity of desert seems a long way off. There is a different way to travel, to drift, and the softest of breezes kicks around in your hair, laughing.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

 

99: Trying too Hard

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What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labour under the sun?” Ecclesiastes 2:22 NIV

It is good to work. If you are blessed with having found work, especially the work you feel God prepared in advance for you to do, as Paul expresses it in Ephesians, then you are a fortunate person indeed. The writer of the book of Eccles (as you know by now I call it) is not keen on the idea of work, labour or storing things up for oneself. He rightly tells us that we can’t take any of it with us when we die, that life is short and that most of it seems pretty pointless.

He’s not the cheeriest of chaps, really, old Eccles. I am not sure I’d want to spend a great deal of time with him. I don’t think he’d be one of my choices in that game of fantasy dinner guests. And yet, when I am feeling low, I agree with him. If I am down and exhausted, the thing I’m most likely asking myself is “What’s the point?” It can feel like all the pain and effort, all the trying, all the striving, is all for nothing. Even the things that I enjoy doing, like writing and art, seem like just so much chaff blowing away on the wind.

Perhaps the best thing we can do with this realisation is to embrace it. There really is no point storing up earthly wealth, so that ambition can be let go. Being poor is not a lot of fun though, and debt leads to a great many problems as well as terrible stress, and perhaps this wasn’t something that preoccupied the writer of Eccles that much as he is widely believed to be King Solomon, who wasn’t exactly short of a bob or two. So, once needs are met, we might say, there is not much point chasing after wealth or status for its own sake.

So what is worth striving for? What is worth going after? Fame? Wisdom? Pleasure? No, our advisor doesn’t find these things worth the trouble either. So what then? What is that pearl of great price that Jesus mentions? That treasure that is so great that we should immediately go and sell all we have to procure?

When I think about this, I think of Moses. He lived to the ripe old age of 120 with none of his faculties diminished, after having spent 40 years maturing, another 40 regretting a crime and becoming humble, and finally 40 years serving the Lord faithfully. And yet at the end of all that, he did not get to enter the Promised Land with his people.

We might well say his reward was to come later. That he was to enter a different Promised Land and walk with his God. Yes, that’s true. But for Moses, that eternity had already begun. He was already walking with God, and more intimately than with anyone else who had come before, it seems.

he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,

I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,

I speak to them in dreams.

But this is not true of my servant Moses;

he is faithful in all my house.

With him I speak face to face,

clearly and not in riddles;

he sees the form of the Lord.” Numbers 12: 6-8 NIV

Likewise, when Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus sits at the feet of Jesus to adore him and learn from him, Jesus calls this “the one necessary (or needful) thing.” Relationship with the Lord, then is the key to the meaning of life. This is where we begin our eternity and how we are led deeper into it. In gazing more and more at the Lord of all things, into the heart of love itself, the more the peripery, the other fields, the lesser pearls, all fade into nothingness and we can be sure that we have found something meaningful under the sun, something worth pursuing, worth going after. And the best thing is that it is not something we need to strive for, but something that we simply choose.

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay

 

Veil of Tears 92: Indispensable

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And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.”

Matthew 5:36

Oh my dear ones, you imagine your worth is above rubies, and so it is. But all is accomplished by God’s hands, not ours. We sometimes push ourselves beyond our own limits because we have made ourselves indispensable in our heads.

Do we not realise that God’s plans carry on regardless of our abilities? For just as our faults are nothing to him, so are our strengths merely gifts to be used. It is good to do the work set before us by the Lord, but there are also others able to do it. If I don’t write this blog which is fast becoming a book, the world has lost very little, and if it were God’s will, people would read something else far more edifying.

I am willing and I work hard when I am able. But there are lots of days in a sick person’s life, when that ability is just not there. There is no strength, no cognitive energy, the hands and head will not co-operate to bring the words to the paper or the paint to the canvas. And God knows this, and he is patient with me, and all is done according to his will, purpose and timing and not at my behest.

When we are sick or burdened or weary, the Lord promises us rest. He does not sell us a 24/7 work ethic where we must push through barriers of pain and fatigue in order to accomplish a task. Always we must build into our lives and careers the possibility of delegation and understudy. This is, I think, especially necessary in the church, where so many ministers push themselves into breakdowns and health problems. Other people can do the work, whatever it may be. Other people are willing to do it. Other people chosen by God to shine and help.

Let us then cultivate a kingdom where when the eye is weary, another eye can do the seeing. If we are truly all one body with many parts, then we can uphold and encourage one another. We can learn to shadow and mentor closely so that when there is a stepping down or a sabbatical or a time of ill health or of maternity, there are others trained and eager, not to take our place, but to give us the respite we need.

How I wish I had learnt this hard truth earlier in life, the value of rest and of play, the knowing of my own smallness and my identity as one of many in the kingdom. Let us not now be so foolish as to pay the price of Marthadom or misplaced humility, or even of disdainful pride, in breakdowns of heart, mind or body. Instead let us watch out for one another and offer help and support before it is asked for, before it becomes a last resort. And let us ask for it early too.

Always do your best, and always be replaceable. Plan for it, even, so that God’s kingdom, which is so precious, need not falter because you asked too much of yourself and set yourself up for a fall, or because you refused to allow yourself the time to breathe and to drink the living water you are always recommending other people need for life. Let us allow ourselves to be human and weak, and see how much more God can do with that truth, than with our illusions.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay

196: Park

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Oasis filled with the lain down palm branches of hosanna honking geese and Victorian trees, how thankful we are that you stand rooted here in the middle of town. An island in the traffic, a soft green place in the midst of all the busy-ness, throwing down the gauntlet of stillness, challenging the furore of that must-ing, to do list, A to B and back again that rules our frantic lives. Benches to ponder on. Lakes to cry into. Bracing winds to close our eyes to and then face. Trees to trace with tender fingers, the bark reflecting our creased and cracking skin, telling us we are okay, that we are meant to have folds, and that yes, the ducks are laughing at us and at life, and we can join them if we can still remember how.

 

© Photo and text Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

134: Bed

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Sickness prevents all effort, so this bearing body must sink with summoned gratitude into the sheets and let the light fall where it will. An imagined Heidi hayloft with eyes closed, I could be anywhere. A skylight shows me stars in the daytime and Grandfather lays out bread with cheese and apples, a rustling feast down below. But eating comes later, and now it is a quickening softness, a garnering of cellular energy that is needed. I gather grain into the storehouse and let the outlines of my shape melt away.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015