Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, "Get up and eat."--I Kings 19:5
We cannot be fully alive or even fully present to life when we are undernourished or sleep-deprived. Ours is an age and culture that can easily be dominated by both a lack of food and a lack of sleep. The stresses of everyday life impel us to hurry through our meal, or eat our food while engaged in other activities, or go without a meal altogether. The stresses of everyday life can also rob us of the ability to relax enough to sleep languidly or long. Our sleep often ends up being as unsettled as boiling chowder in a black iron cauldron.
When we go without food or sleep for extended periods of time, we become unbalanced. We begin to shrink from the wonder of life and instead find ourselves only going through the motions of living magnanimously and fully. At those moments, the balancing angels are waiting to swoop across the chaotic stage of our life to touch us and tell us to return to the basics of what it means to be human. “It’s time,” they whisper, “to pay attention to yourself – to stop the frantic, frenetic, fomenting pace of your life and attend to the simple pleasures that not only keep you alive but make life worth living.” Are you poised to feel the balancing angels’ gentle caress?
O God, help me see the soothing power that lies hidden in the common, simple, mundane activities of life.
These meditations first appeared at explorefaith.org
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