It is at once unsettling and exciting.
You lean in to hear this message meant just for you and yet I always wonder what the words may require of me...
To be quite honest I have such a busy internal conversation it's pretty miraculous anything gets through the internal chatter.
I'm acutely aware of this at the moment as I have taken a couple of gentle yoga classes the last couple of weeks. It is a gentle and quiet practice with lots of time for thinking and lots of encouragement to relax and still the mind.
Stilling the mind is a thing I am completely useless at and lets not forget the last time I tried yoga was disastrous. But I am one very tired person at the moment. Some might say exhausted. Some might say borderline burnout. And some might be concerned at creeping depression.
So I was ready to grasp at any straw to help me relax, help my body be less achy, my mind less restless and my heart less melancholy.
The meditation and total relaxation at the end of this class after an hour of stretching and breathing deeply calmed me in a way seldom else ever has. I breathed out my concerns and fears and meditated on things I am grateful for. I was never tempted to fall asleep like the lady next to me whose gentle snores punctuated the quiet music and the teachers lilting voice.
I just let myself be.
It was beautiful.
A beautiful friend who has stayed close through the transitions of the last few weeks gifted me a gratitude journal that I have been staring at for a few days, not feeling like I was up for starting it but nevertheless it has made me mindful of things to be grateful for.
And so today when, sitting in church after many weeks away, the reading included Matthew 11:28..."Come to me all who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest."...... the modern translation The Message puts it like this....
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Well that hit me right between the eyes, or right in the heart, to be precise. I'm sure those words were meant for me today. I was ready to hear them. I need to slow down. I need to rest. I need to re-calibrate both my heart and my mind.
I need to learn the unforced rhythms of grace.