January 1, 2011 was an unusually mild day in New England. At midday, several of our extended family members went for a leisurely walk in my favorite wildlife refuge near our home. It was a spectacular site, filled with incredible beauty despite the overcast mid-winter sky and the barrenness of the meadow. After our walk, we sat on benches and enjoyed the peaceful serenity of our surroundings. It was delightful.
My brother in-law asked me about my new year resolutions. At that point I hadn’t crafted my list. Within moments of the question, however, I had part of my answer. One resolution is for certain: add more holy leisure to my life. What I was feeling at that particular moment was a snapshot of the longing of my soul…unhurried times set apart to enjoy God’s creation, prayerfully attend to the voice of my Maker, and biblically ponder the path of life I’m invited to discover and fulfill each new day.
It was at that time of holy leisure that I came in touch with my deepest desire. Everything in my life – marriage, family, ministry, friendships – bursts forth from that place of holy listening. Without that wide open space for my soul, I will be crowded out by the noise, activity, relationships, and demands of my world. Today is the first Monday of January and I’m already feeling the upswing in activity, expectation, and the stress that accompanies a full family, personal and ministry life.
I want to remember throughout 2011 what I know to be true…God’s delight over us as we delight in His presence. Holy leisure – in both solitude and in community – will take me to that spacious place where my soul comes alive in pondering and receiving the many gifts for life that come from the generous hand of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Is your soul craving more holy leisure? If so, be sure to follow through with holy resolve this coming year!