Friday, October 7, 2016

Change of Pace

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 280: Today, I am grateful for a change a pace. 

Today is still a work day, but it is not a typical work day as the students will not be there. Now, I had learned that anything can happen, so I must not set my expectations too high as to what will be accomplished. Still, it is good to "change it up a bit". Don't we all need a change of pace at times?

Changing seasons means lawn mowing turns into raking leaves and cleaning landscape. It means fresh summer meals turn into soups and warm breads. Colorful flowers are replaced by richly colored leaves... before winter wipes the slate clean. A change of pace is good for the soul. 

Bored. The word we were never allowed growing up or Mama Ina Mae could find us something to do. Some people realize that the comfort of a routine is their passion. For others, they need careers and jobs that mean every day is a new adventure. I think I am somewhere in the middle.  A change of pace can be a source of refreshment.

I think about the times Jesus sought out a change of pace.  In the full throttle moments of his ministry, he did a couple of different things. All of them intrigue me. 

A couple of times he went off by himself to rest and restore. He was alone. 

"That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables"   -Matthew 13:1-3a

When Jesus was grieving, he needed a change of pace. In the following verse, he had just heard the news of his cousin's beheading. His disciples claimed and buried the John's body. His cousin and childhood playmate killed on a princess' whimsy. Horrible. Jesus needed to breathe, grieve and rest.

"Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns."-Matthew 14:13

And then... in that same day, he ends up feeding and teaching 5000 people. 

 "Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray." Matthew 14:22-23    

And then, after a time of prayer, he walks on the Sea of Galilee, out to the boat to meet up with his disciples in the middle of a storm.

There is was another time he was walking through a crowd and a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touched his robe and her faith made her whole. A very different healing event in the records of Jesus time here. Usually, be people would come to him for a personal interaction. Her faith was strong and she knew just to touch him. It can be found in Mark 5. The power of faith and a touch. 

One of my favorite examples of a "change of pace" in the gospels is in John 4. Jesus sat to rest at Jacob's well. The disciples were out, baptizing believers and he was weary. He went to Jacob's well on the land Jacob had given Joseph. Joseph who was sold at a price, Suffered from lies told about him, but Joseph remained faithful and God lifted him up to save his family and his people.  Hmmm...imagine that he chose that exact well to rest and offer life? 

Then a woman... a Samaritan woman...shows up. An enemy of his people by birth but loved by Jesus for her soul. His change of pace would change the life of a Samaritan woman. 

The truth is, any day can bring about change. Do we fret or embrace the change of pace? We can learn or we can lament. Sweet perspective. 

Today, I am grateful for a change a pace in a usual place. 

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