I remember the ‘doggy bush’ at the bottom of our huge garden when I was a child. Made up of two holly trees and a massive rhododendron bush, its outline was reminiscent of ‘Dougal’ from The Magic Roundabout. A fantastic place to play, but especially to hide — to rest from play, to take a break from others.
Running and other sports need not always be non-stop. Trail runners go incredible distances (I’m told!) by walking and resting when needed. Training plans incorporate rest days, and ‘cross training’ (such as gym, cycling or swimming), and a ‘taper’ where training reduces in the week or more before ‘race day’.
We all need times of rest, places of refuge, a pause from the hustle and bustle, an opportunity to regroup before launching out again. Just as a piece of music contains ‘rests’ that are as important as the notes in between, so our lives need those moments of rest, refuge and sabbath, to give definition and significance to our active, busy lives — and even make them more productive and enjoyable.
we have our assigned portions, cups
our situations in life.
For some the boundaries fall in pleasant places
while others have more of an existence than a life.
Many may struggle with setting boundaries
between busyness and rest
between work (paid or not) and play
between intensity and time to regroup.
Help us to know
when it’s time to stop
to take refuge
to rest secure.
And when we need to get going
or to ‘cross train’
to take counsel from you
on the path of life.
PSALM 16: 1-7 (NIVUK)
1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.’
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
‘They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.’
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.