In thinking of this time of year, while anticipating upcoming Cursillo weekends, an article from OUTLOOK magazine from January 2016 crossed my path which I offer to you in adapted form.
Ordinariness oozes from the pores of Winter.
After weeks of feasting and celebrating in December, and the chill at times of January settled in, the body screams for us to cease. Short days and dark nights, like black holes, inhale shreds of energy and optimism that could buoy soul and body. Outside, winter pushes cold hard against the fertility of the land and it rests.
Perhaps we should as well.
Winter personifies rest - a season of imperative dormancy. In His infinite wisdom and grace, God built rest into the weekly cycle, modeling the consummate balance of work and rest, then offering an imperative designed to regenerate and refresh; the Sabbath Day to be kept holy for rest and prayer (see Ex. 20:8).
Several thousand years later, Jesus perpetuated His Father’s injunction.
We think of Jesus healing, teaching, and being pushed upon from many different directions. While true, Jesus also would send people away or disappear without warning giving no excuse or explanation, and retreat to a place of rest. He did not wait until everyone was cured, nor did he ask permission. He left no one ‘on call,’ or even let his disciples know where he was going. Jesus obeyed a deeper rhythm - that of a quiet place and prayer.
Do we sense and obey such a rhythm? Do we, with open hands and hearts, welcome the winter darkness as an invitation to slow down, reflect, and rest?
Dn Mick Humbert