Running on Empty
July 13, 2021
Dear parents and families,
I remember my parents played great music in the car when I was little. One of my mom’s favorites was and is Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty.” To this day, the song reminds me of my mom.
My mind has felt like a rolodex with all of the stuff I have to do: Vacation Bible School preparation, faith formation groundwork, continued liturgical support, sermon-writing anti-racism work, prayer. What do YOU have to do right now? Parenting? Work? Committees? Walk the dog? What do your children have to do? Summer reading? Camps? Chores? Have you taken a break?
As I reflect on the Gospel passage for this week, something jumps out at me: the disciples assemble themselves around Jesus and tell him about what they’ve been up to. Without any hesitation, Jesus says to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” Jesus tells his disciples -- his ministers, his friends -- to take some time for themselves and rest.
Every Sunday when we listen to the Liturgy of the Word then participate in the Eucharist, we take a break. During the week, though, take heed of Jesus’ advice to the disciples: steal away to a quiet place and rest. Offer your families that opportunity, as well. It strengthens the spiritual life and nourishes the soul. Some ways to offer your families and yourselves spiritual rest:
- Spend time in nature. Take a nature walk. Sit in a garden (or our Hilary House garden!).
- Meditate on Scripture, such as the Daily Office.
- Develop a personal mantra. Often these are short Bible verses, usually coming from Psalms, Proverbs, or the Gospels. (My personal mantra comes from John: “I am the light of the world.”)
- Be quiet. This may seem simple, but it is not easy. For just a few minutes, take time away from electronics and other distractions.
I continue to offer support and resources for you and your families during the summer months (and always!). The Rev. Barb Ballenger is a wonderful pastoral resource. If we can help you rest, do not hesitate to let us know.