As I write this week, we are all re-thinking our individual and collective lives in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s heartening to see people and communities making choices for the well-being of all, even when that means great sacrifice.
Many of us are reeling from the cancellation of events, routines. Our busy calendars have more open spaces than usual, our fast forward lives may have come to full stop or at least slowed significantly. It may feel like our lives have gone from 100 to 10 mph in just a few days. At the same time, for many of us new responsibilities emerge with children home from school or remote work rhythms to establish.
What might it mean for us to receive these newly opened spaces in our lives as an invitation to nourishment? How might these disruptions in daily life be opening up free space to just breathe? How might new rhythms of family life and work be an invitation to lay down our frenetic pace and experiment with more expansive rhythms? To not rush to fill up the empty space with distractions, or constant news? Instead, we can pause, perhaps a new experience of sabbath, to nourish ourselves, nourish our soil, to cultivate fertile ground for abundant life to grow.
In the parable of the sower (Luke 8:4-15) Jesus reminds us that it is not our busyness and accomplishments, even religious ones, that determines the fruit of our lives. Rather, it is the condition of our soil, a place of slow, steady nourishment for growth.
What nourishes you? What nourishes your family?
As we step into a wide-open, spacious life,* we can have eyes to see and ears to hear the ways God invites us into nourishment. Nourishment of connecting to ourselves and to others. Nourishment of pausing to be present in our own lives. Nourishment of creativity and play. Nourishment from springtime as new life breaks forth around us. Nourishment of unscheduled, unhurried time. Nourishment for abundant life.
Nourish your soil. Let’s take the newly opened spaces in our lives to cultivate the conditions for the love of God to grow in your life and overflow in blessing in the world.
*”wide-open, spacious life” is a phrase coined by Eugene Peterson in his Message translation of 2 Corinthians 6:11-13.