Dear People of God,
Wayne Muller wrote a book entitled, SABBATH – Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Busy Lives. It is one of the finest books I have read in the last five years. He opens the book with this insight: “In the relentless busyness of modern life, we have lost the rhythm between work and rest . . . . Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing something – anything— is better than doing nothing. Because of our desire to succeed, to meet these ever-growing expectations, we do not rest. Because we do not rest, we lose our way . . . . Even when our intentions are noble and our efforts sincere – even when we dedicate our lives to the service of others – the corrosive pressure of frantic over activity can nonetheless cause suffering in ourselves and others.”
We all make choices. We all want the very best for our families. However, we need to keep a balance and perspective between work and rest. Muller continues: “Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center. ‘Remember the Sabbath’ means ‘Remember that everything you have received is a blessing. Remember to delight in your life, in the fruits of your labor. Remember to stop and offer thanks for the wonder of it.’ ”
Rest puts life into perspective. And speaking of perspective . . . . . . . keep reading! I share this story with you given to me a few years ago.
DON’T WE ALL?
“I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work. Coming my way from across the parking lot was a man. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of those ‘don’t want to be bothered times.’ ‘I hope he doesn’t ask me for money,’ I thought. He didn’t.
He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus. After a few minutes he spoke. “That’s a very pretty car,” he said. He was ragged but he had a air of dignity around him. His scraggly blond beard kept more than his face warm. I said, ‘Thanks,’ and continued wiping off my car. He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened something inside said, ‘Ask him if he needs any help.’ I was sure that he would say ‘yes’ but I held true to the inner voice. ‘Do you need any help?’ I asked. He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget.
We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We except it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the three words that shook me. ‘Don’t we all?’ he said. I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, until those three words hit me . . . . ‘Don’t we all?’ I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached into my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day.
Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that. You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see. Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves. Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a homeless person, then said, ‘Go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help.’ Don’t we all?”