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 2:2-3
The other day my friend Gayle posted a photo of a bluebird. One response said something like, “Thanks for keeping Facebook positive and politics free…”
Well I’ll see your bluebird and raise you a baby! Not just a baby, but a baby being held by his seven-year-old sister!
So take that, Internet! And don’t worry, we have a lot more where that came from.
It’s not that I’m against conversation around controversial topics – so much as careful not to be sucked into the vortex of negativity it is too easy to perpetuate. We make the choice, sometimes, to keep our focus on what is beautiful and holy. Or as Paul expressed the sentiment in Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Nephesh – נֶ֫פֶשׁ
And, today being Sunday of all days, don’t we all think a change of focus is not only necessary but pretty much required? The Hebrew idea of Sabbath rest included the concept of nephesh – נֶ֫פֶשׁ – a word that suggests intentional refreshment rather than inactivity.
We will not enjoy full, healthy, balanced, productive lives if we do not “keep” the sabbath. Turning away from all the angst, the political rhetoric, the anger, and the disturbance of our souls is critically important.
So take a look at these amazing photographs taken by our daughter, Naomi. This is beauty, and joy, and love, and hope, and encouragement, and promise, and light.
Doesn’t it make your heart sing? We don’t have to saturate our souls with the hate, the pain, the selfishness, and the darkness.
Stop. Appreciate bluebirds and babies. Approach God. Worship. Attend church. Listen. Sing. Pray. Be refreshed.
I am praying for you – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.