Didn’t do much writing over the past 10 days. Didn’t write anything, in fact, except a text message or two…and a few emails…during our leisurely circumnavigation of Lake Erie. And I have to say, it felt pretty darn good to shift my brain into neutral for the span of our vacation.
I notice, though, that while I wasn’t working…still in some sense I was being worked. Downtime, fallow time, is essential to my spirit. And what a blessing, what a luxury, to know that this downtime is in fact available to me. That I can not work for a while, and yet not worry much about whether I’ll be able to eat or pay the bills.
I wonder if the great prophet Isaiah has something like this in mind in the passage we hear proclaimed at Mass today. God’s bounty, he says, is at the heart of things:
Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
Sometimes, we need to step back — take a little fallow time — from the everyday routines, just to notice Who really is in charge.
Who makes the rain, literally and figuratively.
Who carves the Great Lakes…
…and empties them in rather spectacular fashion.
Fallow time opens the eye to extraordinary beauty.
It moves our hearts to gratitude.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.