No TV, no computer access and limited phone access were my privileged gifts this past weekend. My husband and I were able to get away for a weekend for the first time in several years all by ourselves. Through the kindness and generosity of a dear friend, we were able to use a charming river house near the Chesapeake Bay for two blissful days of pure relaxation. Just being able to look out the windows and see tranquil water and sea birds catching fish instantly changes a mind frame from stress and exhaustion to rest and reassurance.
I’m not an avid movie watcher, but there is one line in “Eat, Pray, Love” that particularly appealed to me. “You Americans need to learn the art of nothingness.” In our rushed, busy everyday life, doing nothing is almost looked upon as being sinful or certainly evokes guilt for not doing something. In reality, in “busyness” satan has us right where he wants us…too busy to pray, too occupied to spend time with our Savior, too distracted to focus our eyes on the Author of our faith, too frustrated to work out what’s really going on in our lives. A welcomed weekend away from all that clamors around me forced me to unwind and to take advantage of the simplistic blissfulness of rest.
Sitting in a chair on the pier with the sun shining, breeze blowing and water rippling enabled me to slow down long enough to just breathe in God’s goodness. Watching an egret catch and swallow a fish whole caught me by surprise. Having a local dog and cat join me on the pier just added more to the “doing nothing” phase. Listening to the fish jump in the water all around me brought pure delight. I felt like I was just melting into the chair when my body finally gave in and allowed itself to really relax.
In the afternoon quietness as I continued to gaze upon the water, I was gently reminded that Jesus walked upon the water and willingly held out His hands to Peter. Of all the disciples, I probably relate to Peter the most, trying so hard to be faithful but moments of doubt creep in and slam me before I even realize what’s happened. In those quiet moments, Jesus reassured me He does walk on the water, and if He can walk on water He can certainly take care of me.
Two days of reading, sleeping and cooking when I wanted to and not by a schedule was a blessing beyond what words can convey. As we headed home, I felt rested, reassured and restored. Circumstances of life did not change while we were gone, and we came home to Daniel still being in one of his “bad” cycles. Money did not miraculously show up in our checkbook, and the house did not auto-clean itself. Things around us have not changed, but my attitude and my trust level has changed. It took literally getting away from all of it to change my perspective. The art of “nothingness” is a gift to be cherished and savored.