Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Slowin' Down

I added the following post to a little blog I created for the student leaders I work with. Have fun and happy summer.

The ideas of rest, of slowing down, of timelessness.

They aren’t new thoughts. Actually, just about everyone I talk to here in Upland comments on them. The nice-ness of summer. How it slows down and there really is time to just be. A few nights ago, Jorjette and I grabbed a couple books, walked over to those criminally underused tables between the Union and Metcalf, and read with a quiet and soft breeze surrounding us. The ability to get lost in a book, in the beauty of my new wife, in the evening cool of mid-June Indiana – not bad.

This didn’t make the reading list (I’m not sure why…) but Sheldon Vanauken (1980), in his book, A Severe Mercy, talks about how he and his wife “…longed for unpressured time – time-free existence – for thus we should find joy” (p. 207). Our enjoyment of timeless moments suggests that we may not always be “purely temporal creatures” (p. 203). So when I have moments like I described in the last paragraph, I like to think that I’m getting just a little taste of eternity.

Eugene Peterson, in his devotional-ish book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction(2000, another book not on the list… I promise I’m reading the reader, too) challenges the reader (me) to continue following Christ, even when there’s not a whole lot of excitement or hoopla involved. We are called to be disciples and pilgrims, “apprenticed to our master” and “going to God,” respectfully.

I like to think that the time-less moments that keep popping up this summer (which hint at something of the eternal) set me up nicely to continue in my feeble attempts to be a disciple and a pilgrim. I think, in a way, these two thoughts are connected.

I thank God for times like these and, while time-less moments and my roles of disciple and pilgrim do not end with the accompanying end of summer, it’s just a little easier to recognize when those moments happen and it’s just a little easier to assess how I’m doing in my various roles. Here’s to another month and a half of living slowly.

-Josiah

Peterson, E. H. (2000). A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Vanauken, S. (1980). A Severe Mercy. New York, NY: HarperOne.

2 comments:

annemariedimond said...

I am so happy about those two books you are reading/have read. Both are dear to me and are a part of creating a sense of timelessness that exists somewhere in the stories that have entered my consciousness.

Josiah said...

@annie
Yes, Severe Mercy was quite good. And I'm excited to read the rest of Long Obedience.
Jorje and I are reading the two books as our own little devotional/bookclub/etc. It's great.