Becoming Chris Kamalski

"There's a Writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us" ~Don Miller

Tag: Sabbath

What My Soul Longs For.

Thanks, Anne Jackson of flowerdust.net for this post:

A DAY OF REST

As we spin with the world
Rotating among
The stars and particles
Swirling around us
Tides ebbing and flowing
The moon and the sun rising
We must command
Ourselves
To simply stop.
To simply be.

(Breathe in the air
Not polluted by hurry
And breathe out the spirit
Of mercy and peace)

No Leisure To Eat.

Such a provocative invitation from Jesus.

I live in a fairly steady experience of anxiety in these days, a combination of moving forward to a life overseas in South Africa for this next season, the hard realities of fundraising in a lingering recession, and the sense that I am on a precipice leading towards a new sort of life, a life greatly desired, yet feared as well. Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome,” which nails squarely on the head the reality of my life right now.

I am not uncertain of whether I am to return to South Africa, or whether God has called me there for at least this next transitional season of several years. But what about all the things I don’t know, like: When will I be fully supported? Will my needs be met in time? What will this next season be like relationally? How will I be developed as a leader? Am I really moving to the other side of the world, ‘for good’ in a sense? And a million other stray fragments similar to this.

I have a growing understanding that anxiety is largely a mental battle of vague, nagging thoughts, and often resides in the realm of non-reality. ‘What if?‘ is the question that imprisons the mind, shutting down the heart, in this state. That is why the call of Jesus to not worry about tomorrow (see Matthew 6) is so provocative, as well as His invitation to come away for rest in a season where His followers were described as having ‘no leisure to eat!’

Frankly, I want to continue worrying. I want to shove food down my throat while frantically attempting to finish seven different things at once. In some twisted, pathological way, I feed off of this sense of worry, finding some sense of a self, albeit a false one.  I am aware of, yet scared of, the whispered invitation of Jesus to open up my real self to Him today.  This involves Jesus being with me in my anxiety, not veiling it in some religious fog. What a profoundly unsettling, yet beautiful, invitation.

A Month Of Sabbaths.

I have been deliberately been trying to slow down and practice the discipline of Sabbath Rest during the month of August, which has also coincided with our wider NieuCommunities crew practicing the discipline of simplicity (which I will post on at the Pangani NCSA blog  in the coming days) this entire month, seeking to not only cut our non-essential expenses in half for the month in order to be able to actively practice generosity, but also deliberately live within a different sort of rhythm as well.

A huge ‘No-Duh’ ensued for me, as I struggle to a fairly deep degree to actively slow down on Sundays, engaging in true Sabbath Rest. Rather, I often find myself either hiding from God and others (engaging in false forms of rest), or seeking to overcompensate for the rest that I feel is lacking by sleeping way too late or watching too many DVD’s.

This month has felt different somehow on Sundays though.  Maybe it is because I have rarely used my laptop, Facebooked, or checked email (Hah! I don’t check email ‘enough’ any day!).  Maybe it is because I have sought to spend time outside each Sunday.  Or maybe it is simply due to the fact that Spring is finally hinting at its arrival with warm afternoon breezes and the temptation to put on shorts and pursue a sunburn (Check: Successful this afternoon!).

Whatever the case may be, as we prepare to turn the page into September this coming Tuesday, I head to bed this Sabbath day nodding my head at a fairly successful attempt at actually slowing down, enjoying life, and seeing God’s hand in all things this month.  Truly, I find myself agreeing with Jesus as he commented, ‘The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’

3rd Place Church. Sarah rocking the teaching. True Afrikaner chicken braai. First sunburn of the season. Afternoon nap. Sports highlights. Funny South African comedian spewing ridiculousness. A (short) walk in the park. Huge crew of new folk at the evening gathering. Fun pizza dinner with friends new and old(er).

Finally feeling like I’m making true relational connections with friends(!) here in South Africa…