While preparing to move to Spain we had envisioned what life and ministry would look like there. The excitement and anticipation of what we envisioned built a sense of urgency. When the time came and we arrived in Spain my feet wanted to hit the ground running. Instead it felt like everything hit a very abrupt stand still.
A few months before leaving for Spain I felt like Jesus was giving me an awareness that I was about to enter a season that was more internal than external, more quiet than loud, more still than busy. At the time it seemed logical to me that I would experience some isolation, moving to a country with a language that was completely foreign to me. I assumed this isolation was likely the “quieter place” Jesus was preparing me for. Little did I know (and little do I still know) how much more of a season this is turning out to be.
Everything about this beautiful country and my time here thus far has been teaching me about rhythms of rest. This culture is making me a student of slow. Everything from the way their meals are prepared and cooked, to the way the laundry is done…to Siesta! Oh my goodness Siesta…it makes me feel like a crazy person! My mind can’t fathom how entire cities just shut down for 3-4hrs. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. The part of the day that I usually want to go get things done. Siesta is my teacher. The lesson of REST is a hard one…especially for me. I am an extremely social extrovert with a high capacity and a drive to DO, to be in action, in motion…to make things happen. Rest for me can feel like inaction, like empty space, and it almost always feels too quiet.
As I am learning to stop fighting these cultural opportunities for rest and submit myself to them, choosing to be convinced there’s something to learn and gain – I find I am getting little glimpses of myself – parts maybe I haven’t stood still long enough to see. Something is shifting as I learn the practice of rest. My world is most definitely quieter, but instead of the quiet making me anxious, it’s making me still. In the stillness, I take deeper breaths, and I am more aware of where my soul is in the midst of the spinning world around me. I am also studying much about the biblical practice of Sabbath in this season. I mean hey, if this seasons about rest than I’m gonna get all I can out of it!
I am learning and unfurling into rest, into Sabbath and I have a hunch there’s loads of freedom to be gained from this practice. I have a feeling I will find deep satisfaction in the little practices of quiet diligence. Something I’ve never been good at, but something I can feel is going to shape and define me in this season. I don’t think this season defined by rhythms of rest is going to last long, but I believe it’s meant to be the foundation I stand on when the pace quickens and there’s more work than I know what to do with.