I struggle for story though the history is full, abundant. All the stage has been set, scene and circumstance ready for the telling. Characters fully embodied. Present. But the words won’t come, stuck in my throat like some hard-to-swallow pill too large for the undertaking.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Geese are heading south, heading for warmth, security from the dead-cold of winter seeping in so soon. There’s a pond just up the road where they land just after dawn, just after sunlight chips away at the frost-clinging air and hints of autumn lingering. Here they rest and play, rejuvenate until dusk when they lift up and go again.
It all seems so effortless, the pumping of their wings pulling in to then pushing against the very air that holds them, a slow sway of movement. But imagine. Imagine the energy expelled to keep themselves aloft, their hollow-boned bodies above it all. As they near the water below it must seem a relief, a respite invitation on the grandest scale. Welcoming. Beckoning.
We do it too, you know, pump our limbs to and fro, pulling in to then pushing against the very Spirit that sustains us. Always busy. Always doing, going. Responsibilities. Requests. Should-dos and must-dos. Want-to-dos. We wear ourselves thin. Thin as air. We approach God spilling out, spilling over. Rambling.
Fill us up.
We slow-circle calm and quiet enticed by it’s invitation, yearn for that moment of simple being. Yet we do not. We do not stop for fear of what we might miss, fear of failure, of letting someone down. Of not doing enough. Being enough.
These geese drop so slowly, descend like a hush. It seems a mere whisper their arrival, wings cupped back, entwined in the very air that sustains them. It’s a beautiful dance, a perfect waltz of flesh and energy yielding to something more, something vast and infinite and never changing. Something always there, apparent yet easily forgotten.
And when they land water surges ahead, a spray rises up behind and you realize how solid they really are, how swiftly they let go of air and meet earth. At first they are loud and calling, a cacophony of rejoicing at the gathering. A kind of giggle at the success of the feat. Then a wide, engulfing hush. Silence descends right behind them and there is quiet. Calm. Morning dapples them golden and you see it there, trailing, a reflection of their movement amid the stillness. A memory of where they’ve been.
And in that moment I realize it’s okay if the words don’t come. It’s okay to let plot unfold and story take shape. It’s okay to be still. To just breathe. To just be.
In this moment right now there is rest, there is rejuvenation. I don’t have to push and pull to keep aloft, to stay above and ahead of it all. I can land and let my Father cradle me, carry me. I’m not failing or falling short, for there’s still movement, even in the stillness.
Be still and know that I am God…