Bed and Breakfast… and the unforced rhythms of grace

Palmer House B&B in Lithia, Florida

MISSED POST! Yesterday – if you notice such things – I failed to post to this blog. Typically, there are two reasons I might miss a post. First would be some kind of disaster. The second would be something very good. Yesterday was the latter.

Rebekah and I enjoyed an extended 36-hour date. Thursday afternoon we headed out to the Palmer House Bed and Breakfast in Lithia, and then stayed out of circulation until now (Saturday morning). We bid on the B&B at the church Mission Auction, so it was win-win all around. Good dollars for the Brandon Outreach Clinic plus some wonderful refreshment for us.

Coffee and conversation...

We had just been talking about the idea of balance, and rest, and replenishment – both during my Sunday morning class and at my Wednesday evening Bible study. So the timing couldn’t have been better. Proper attention to re-creation is a critical element of The Life-Charged Life. It’s this whole “Sacred Rhythm” concept I use to begin my “Reaching Toward Easter” book. More on this February 21, but we’ll also take a quick look now.

SACRED RHYTHM: Simply put, one of the Creation narratives at the beginning of Genesis describes God’s work in terms of “six days, then rest.” By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. – Genesis 2

Sauntering at the speed of conversation

The idea of rest suggests that the Creation Story wasn’t over at that point. The work was going to continue. Additionally, the passage of a year has a rhythm too. Winter, Spring, Summer, and then Fall. The Earth rests, stirs, produces, plays, and then rests again.

Likewise the Christian calendar. Advent anticipates the coming of Christ. Lent prepares us for Easter. There’s also Pentecost, Epiphany and more. Then the concept of “Ordinary Time” encourages us to put the celebration and the resurrection to work in our day to day lives. There is a pattern, a rhythm, and ebb and flow.

Invest in one another...

Palmer House: The B&B we stayed at provided just the right setting for recalibration and replenishment. Officially, we were celebrating the 35th anniversary of our first date (February 4, 1977), so we talked about the past, the present and the future and we simply enjoyed the fact of such an ongoing investment in one another.

The best-case scenario for reflective refreshment requires a number of elements to work. Stillness; listening; the absence of distraction; a location where work is not tapping you on the shoulder; the conscious setting aside of stress; care; serenity… to name but a few.

Our B&B had all those and more. But, more importantly, we had each other.

Alderman's Ford Park

PARK: So, after breakfast and check out, we went for a relaxing saunter (the word “walk” would require more energy output!) at the Alderman’s Ford Park on Hwy 39. We had the place to ourselves. We sauntered at the speed of good conversation.

So I’ll wrap this post with a couple of photographs. It is more than a good idea to do re-creation like this, both as a couple and as individuals – it’s imperative for the Life-Charged Life. And it can’t be accomplished absent the inclusion of the Spirit of God. After all, it is God who created us, who created this world, and it is God who must be involved in our purposeful rest.

The work of Creation is ongoing...

“Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” – Matthew 11:29-30,The Message

… reinvention… replenishment… renovation – DEREK

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