Monday, October 13, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Twenty-Six


            The day began with clouds and a bit of fog covering the area, with the sun unable to break through it.  Then, rain began and gently fell for about a half hour.  As it stopped, the sun began to try to shine but then just as it brightened the day, suddenly fog rolled in from across the bay bringing the clouds again.  Such is life by the seashore.  It can change rapidly.  The ocean currents seem to be in charge of the weather.  The clouds come and go during the day even as the tides change. 
            Today is a day that we will stay close to our cottage.  We decided we need a day to just read, write, and relax since soon we will begin our journey back home.  We have been going here and there on many days and we have been trying to incorporate days to rest mixed in with the busy days. 
            We may venture across Parker’s Mountain this evening to have dinner out in Annapolis Royal at a restaurant near the river that we have seen.  We have been cooking our food most of the time we have been here and thought we would have one more meal out before going home.  There is a little café near the river run by some Austrian people.  It was recommended to us by a local person so we thought we would give it a try. 
            There is a boardwalk built by the river that runs from the library to the dock and it runs by the back of this café.  They have an outdoor dining area built near the boardwalk.  It is a pleasant place to sit and look at the river and the wildlife and enjoy a meal.  We have walked on the boardwalk and found it to be a very nice experience. 
            I continue to read, having finished reading six books so far and still reading each morning and afternoon.  I am currently reading The Shoes of Van Gogh by Cliff Edwards.  It is an examination of the artwork of Van Gogh from a spiritual viewpoint.  It explains much about the life of the artist and how his artwork revealed a spiritual side that is not often seen.  I will report on it later in more detail. 
            I often think about Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew where he invites all who are weary to come to him.  I had an enlightened moment concerning this verse when I was a young adult.  I had struggled with my own sense of self-worth for years and thought I was not worthy of anything that God would offer me.  I had been taught that you had to be perfect for God to love you and I knew that I was far from perfect.  So, I had just about given up on trying to earn God’s love (which is what it is if you think that you can be perfect enough for God to love you) when, as I read this passage from Matthew that God seemed to speak to me words of assurance. 
            “Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30)

            It was as if God said to me that all that was needed to come to God was to be tired.  I knew I was tired in so many ways and wanted rest for my soul.  It was at that point that I told God exactly those words and it was as if a light went on in my head and my burden of guilt was lifted.  I knew I could never be perfect and God does not expect perfection of me, simply trying to live in an honest, loving way, trying to serve God and my neighbor in all that I do.  I can do that, even if it does not always work out to be the most perfect way of doing things.    

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