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I realized after I finished yesterday's post that I should have mentioned Dan's newest book, Playa Perdida (click here) as a great read that touches on some of these ideas of work and rest. The novel chronicles the journey of Gray Albright, a burned out pastor who leaves the mind-numbing pressures of a northern US congregation for the warm and whimsical grace of a church plant in Costa Rica. You'll enjoy Dan's great sense of humor and gentle reminders that God desires our good, and that gifts come in unexpected packages.
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One of the dangers of including personal journeys in your blog is that often the very thing you're blogging about rears its cheery head and gives you a nip on the backside. I hadn't even hit the "publish" button at the top of my screen yesterday when I noticed that I'd begun to lose it - peace, that is. The airwaves got scrambled with concerns about time commitments, which led to anxiety (so low-level it almost slipped under the radar) and I brought the static into my subsequent conversations. This led to confusion, misunderstanding and a whole lot of wasted time. 

However, it did help to confirm my working thesis that peace is important to maintain if you want to keep in step with the guidance of the Spirit. Disruptions to our peace keep us from being able to sense where the energy of God is leading. Recently I've been using the phrase "What wants to happen" as a fresh way of speaking of being led by the Spirit. Though I have a mental idea of what I think might be good, I am learning to submit my conscious plans to the internal nudge of the Spirit. I'm assuming that God is working through my thoughts, my desires, my intuitions and feelings as well as the people around me to guide me into the path for the day. (One way of living into the phrase "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.)

It's easy for the airwaves to become muddled, especially if our radar has been tuned to pick up other people's feelings and responses, the "you shoulds" of the multiple voices in our heads, or the expectations of the culture in which we're steeped. To enter a watchful stillness, I think it's necessary to lean into the deep love of God. This love, in which Paul reminds us we are "rooted and grounded" (Eph 3:18) is the only thing strong enough to allow us to stand down from defcon 3 or 5 and enter peace.

It's still a challenge to believe that all is well, (that all will be well) that God's love is deep enough to hold me. Surely I'll make mistakes, incur other's displeasure, ruin expectations that are beyond repair. But that's not true. Either God's love is enough for the long haul, or it's not worth my allegiance. However, it's also true that changing my mindset and moving my focus is difficult, and because of that I need the grace of God to even begin. But God is willing and eager to extend that grace, as Paul reminds us with his wonderful prayer for the Ephesians.
 
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  (Ephesians 3:14-19)



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