Monday, November 02, 2015

A Simple Invitation

I reached my tipping point.

It happens every year about this time as the fall craziness ushers in forms to be completed for Charge Conference, thoughtful letters to be written to each member as we invite them to ponder how to embody generosity in the next year, new classes to lead, leadership to select and equip, and general planning.

Last week was extraordinary on so many levels. There were meals with members, meals with new students, and a meal that brought together people from three institutions who are trying hard to work together. There were thoughtful conversations and helpful training sessions and exciting planning. So much happened, and I kept on going. Like an Energizer bunny, I filled myself with coffee each morning while allowing the devotional book and Bible to remain closed. I did whatever it took to make it through my to-do list and scheduled appointments, came home, crashed, and got up to do it all over again.

I then arrived at the church yesterday morning in what I perceived to be plenty of time only to learn how much time it takes when a room isn't quite ready for a meeting and when the plan for the All Saint's candles doesn't really work. I rushed through my preparations for a small group and prayed my sermon would flow.

I then showed up to facilitate a class where someone came who I knew didn't really want to be there because a session centered on the Holy Spirit can be both confusing and intimidating. But she came, arriving with her baby as she has each week.

The baby smiled for the first 30 minutes, and then he made a fuss, struggling to find comfort until she placed him in the Bjorn up against her chest. And it was this image that arrested me - this image that came as an invitation to me - this image in the midst of so many other powerful images from yesterday - that reminds me what God most longs for me to receive - to share with us.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30).

Why do we have such a hard time accepting this invitation?

What would we need to do to stop for a moment - stop whining, stop working, stop planning, stop doing, stop being restless - and simply crawl into the arms of God and allow ourselves to be held for a while?