My soul yearns for
you in the night
I’ve just returned from a ladies weekend at The Retreat at Balcone Springs, near Marble Falls. Few things are as breathtakingly vivid, colorful and fresh as springtime in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. The blooms burst with joy in the fields and along the roadside.
Our talks and discussions centered around one theme, rest. We took time to nap, stroll, hike or shop. We gave ourselves permission and an opportunity to really unwind and relax.
We live in a busy time. We’re not busier than our ancestors, but we act like we are.
In 1900, food was cooked on a wood-burning stove, water was hand-pumped, laundry was done by hand and letters were read by kerosene lamp. The fields were farmed with horses or oxen. Although the automobile had already been invented, not many people had one so they traveled by horse. They raised crops and animals to feed their families. The chickens laid eggs or they were Sunday dinner. Cows were milked. If you wanted to talk to someone, you saddled up ‘ol Smokey and rode to their house or you waited to chat when you were together on Sunday.
By 1915, more folks were getting an automobile. By 1930, some folks had electricity in their homes and a telephone that shared a line with their neighbors, called a party line. By the mid-60s, most families had modern appliances, one car, and one television. It was the early ‘70s before our family got a private telephone line.
By 1999, very few of us raised our own food, we probably had almost one car per licensed driver in the household. We had a home phone in the kitchen, mom and dad’s room and in each kid’s room, plus mom and dad had a cell phone. We had a television in the kitchen the family room, mom and dad’s room and in each kid’s room. There was a computer in the family room, as well as some kind of a game console, like a Nintendo, a Sega or a PlayStation, on at least one television in the home.
With all these wonders, came quite a bit of noise. I’m not saying all the modernization is bad, I’m just saying, that we need to be aware of all that can invading our peace and rob us of our rest.
When there was no electricity or phones, it was pretty easy to get up when the sun came up and go to bed when the sun went down. In between, there was back-breaking hard work, but it was a little easier to define work times and rest times. There was no such thing as a 5-day work week or an 8-hour work day. The cows had to be milked, the cows, pigs, horses, and chickens had to be fed, plus there were eggs to gather seven days a week, rain or shine. There was no choice if a family was to eat.
So now, we have all these modern conveniences that allow us more free time; free time to study our Bibles and to open our homes to our neighbors, right?
How can we find an oasis of peace in the midst of all the noise? It’s not going to come and tap us on the shoulder. We’re going to have to seek it, claim it and guard it.
This rest is essential to our well-being, so we don’t need to feel guilty in choosing to slow down, refuel and refresh every once in a while. There’s no contest to see who can be the busiest and have a schedule that is bursting at the seams. I don’t believe there is a merit badge for busyness, though at times I have acted as if there were.
It has finally occurred to me that anything that costs me my peace is too expensive. I just can’t afford it. I don’t have the cash and credit cards are not accepted.
The only way to handle it is to have a seat on the porch swing. Listen to the breeze rustle the brand new leaves and the birds twitter as you watch them flit from one branch to the next. Take a deep, cleansing breath of fresh springtime and then settle back for a little snooze.
Aahhhh. Yes. Now, that I can afford.
My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
– Isaiah 26:9