I have lived in the south for most of my memorable life.
Life works a bit differently in the south than it does in most other areas of the country. Time moves slower, cutting grass is a leisure activity, and my oh my what we can do with a pot of green beans will make even the fastest moving city-dweller slow down to enjoy the moment.
Oh, and then there’s the sweet iced tea.
Porch Swing Problems
Growing up there weren’t many problems that couldn’t be fixed over a glass of iced tea and a porch swing.
I can remember as a kid I would sit on my grandparent’s swing, drinking my iced tea, while taking in the sound of the water trickling down the creek and the birds roosting above the coal house.
Time seemed to slow down and all of nature seemed to wake up to my time of silence. The crickets and birds held their own miniature singing competition and I was the onlooker to their proficiency in orchestrating the gentle chorus that came to share conversation while I sipped my tea.
The hummingbirds darted around like colorful tiny rockets only stopping long enough to savor their own southern sweet brew that swayed along the front eves of the porch.
In that moment life became reduced to the simple sweetness of simplicity and joy.
Just like my tea.
Reminder To Rest
There is a reason God reminds us to rest.
In the Christian world, we call this rest: Sabbath.
But the rest of Sabbath is about much more than simply not working or following a list of rules. It’s about more than going to a church service.
I think it’s about remembering.
Remembering our Father and how much He loves us. That out of this love He gave us His Son and created everything beautiful we have in this world to enjoy.
Remembering that we are more than the sum of what our hands can accomplish.
Remembering that in the middle of the chaos of our lives the birds still sing, the crickets still chirp, and there is still peace to be found in the complex simplicity of the world created for us to live in.
This rest reminds us to slow down and while, at times, that initially feels like slamming the brakes on the momentum of our lives it reminds us not to let life fly past us while we speed to our destination.
Officer, Was I Speeding?
There is joy in this world but the reason so many of us can’t see it is because we are looking for it through the window of a speeding car. We simply do not come to a stop, get out of the car, and rest.
We feel unproductive. Some even feel guilty.
But our need for rest is so important to God that it made His top 10 list.
It should be on ours as well.
I’ll see you on the porch swing… Don’t forget the tea.
Question: What is your favorite way to rest?