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Rest – Musing on weather and idling at Still Point Farm

February 4, 2011

Rest – Musing on weather and idling at Still Point Farm

This has been a week of involuntary rest for most of us in the middle of the country and on the East Coast. Schools are closed and TV meteorologists are advising us to stay inside lest we join those televised images of abandoned cars covered with two feet of snow on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The temperature yesterday in Texas was colder than the temperature in Anchorage, Alaska. Texas is buying electricity from Mexico to keep things warm and working.

As to me, I struggled with guilt for my lack of productivity for a day but with a blanket of snow outside and a fireplace blazing inside, I have decided to give in to the genial ambiance and just “be.”

Linda, my enabler, in the pleasant pursuit handed me a missive from a local pastor who reassuringly reasoned:

“Even the disciples observed a time of rest from their work.

God has sanctified the Sabbath as a weekly day of worship and rest.

And He has created an annual season which invites rest as well.

Winter is a time created by God to give the earth an opportunity to

be still. The term ‘Winter rest,’ from the German term Winterruhe, means

a state of reduced activity in which plants and animals save energy during

cold weather.’ God created this season for a purpose. And we would do

well to take advantage of it.

That pushes against much in our world. For many, there is no letup

in work in the winter. There is certainly no rest from the media

saturation in our culture.

But sometimes seemingly doing nothing is actually doing something.”


Mortimer Adler, of Aspen Institute fame, had this description of what he called “idling” to put a positive frame around days like these:

“When I have nothing to do for an hour, and I don’t want to do anything, I neither read nor watch television. I sit back in a chair and let my mind relax. I do what I call idling. It’s as if the motorcar’s running but you haven’t got it in gear. You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think.”

Sooo I’m giving in to the mood of the day with nothing particularly profound to say, hoping these words give you comfort in your circumstances.

The temperature for the Super Bowl in Dallas Sunday is expected to be in the mid-forties outside, 72 degrees inside Jerry Jones’ opulent stadium.


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