It’s too much.
Too much information. Too many emails. Too many tweets, deadlines, posts, updates, pins, appointments, requests, to-do lists…
Are you with me?
We want to yell, “Stop the madness!”
But then…like the other morning, I walk outside and get on my bike and look up and this is what I see.
I know, I know, I’m a VERY early morning person, get over it.
The point is that when I looked up and saw this incredible site it was a powerful reminder of the verse that says “He who watches over you will not slumber.”
It’s not too much for Him.
And then later in the day I looked up in our back yard and this is what I saw.
And another day, this
And those pauses, to look up were both a reminder and a stress-reliever.
God put those stars in place without my help! He painted those leaves with no assist from me! He made the sun come up this morning and tomorrow He’ll say “Do it again!”
It made me think of our merry little band of intrepid Jesus followers who have been doing “An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”. Lately we have been trying to ask, “How do you reduce in the area of stress?”
Get rid of your kids? Move to the country where there are fewer people to bug you? Walk instead of riding the bus? Sell all your Apple devices that make noise or make you accessible? Get a housecleaner or personal shopper?
Yep, we’re considering what we can take out of our lives to reduce stress, but ironically, as I was writing this my phone alarm went off. It sounds like a heavenly harp, so not so “alarmy”, but it was a reminder to me to turn to a practice our small group is experimenting with that is like my looking up (something we’re adding in).
We’re each adapting an ancient practice called Praying the Hours. In this case our practice is based on Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkehr, a member of a monastic community. I love that she describes the pauses as “breathing spells for the soul”, an oasis to remember the sacredness of life, who we are, and who God is.
The idea is to stop at different times during the day, pray, and read a Psalm. To take our eyes off the distracting and distorting and discouraging things of the world and re-orient. In other words, LOOK UP. Remember who’s in control and then go on.
HUGE DISCLAIMER: While disciplines are good to stretch us, this practice is supposed to draw us to Jesus who bears our burdens, not burden us with one more “have to”. We are each experimenting with this in the ways we think best, whether that means setting our alarm for 3 different hours or 7, or 1.
Whether you pray the hours or not, maybe consider stopping every once in awhile today or tonight to look up and thank God that whatever “it” is in your day it’s not too much for Him.