On my most recent Monday off, Dennis and I took an afternoon bike ride at the ocean. It was a different kind of ride for us because we did not have an objective or a goal. We did not concern ourselves with the length of time we would ride, or the miles covered, or the level of difficulty needed for optimal exercise benefit. Instead we just wandered. We took a left here and a right there. We stopped to see peoples’ gardens and houses and wildlife in the salt marshes. The pink and white ocean roses were blooming profusely that day, and we noticed the sounds and smells of the sea.
That bike ride reminded me of my childhood – those years before a driver’s license when getting around by bicycle was what one did. We did not keep account of how much time we spent riding our bike. It didn’t matter. Arrival at a destination such as a friend’s house was only one part of the total day’s adventure. Ah, those were the days – simpler days of meeting a friend and going to the corner store on our bikes with a few coins in our pocket to buy candy or an ice cream!
Summer is a wonderful time of year to reconnect with our inner child and to do nothing-at-all on a schedule, with the people who are most special to us. God does indeed teach us to take time for Sabbath and renewal. We remember how when God did the hard work of creation, God took the 7th day for rest. God could have created something else on that day if he wanted to. Why would he waste all that time – a whole day? Yet God rested, as it says in the Book of Exodus (31:17b) “…and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” God then said that we are to keep this day of rest, this day of Sabbath, holy in our own lives!
In our world of multi-tasking and constant connection to the web, it is important for us to remember to stop and rest. It is okay to do nothing-in-particular every once in a while! It is important to play and to pay attention to those we love. Returning to moments when we are reminded of simple childhood joys is one way we can adjust our attitude of constant work …to an attitude of simple enjoyment of the day God has made.
In these summer months of long days and warm temperatures, I hope you will take time to stop and smell the roses or take a wandering bike ride to no place in particular! You may find your heart’s worries shifting to wonder and delight. And when this happens…who knows… you might even transcend yourself and find God!
Blessings for your Spiritual Wanderings!
Yours in Christ’s Service,
Rev. Linda C. Hey