Balancing the Fall

 THIS WEEK at St. Stephen’s … for October 2, 2011

An odd thing happens every year at this time.  All of nature is telling us to slow down, prepare our cave, turn inward, and prepare for the big winter sleep to come. But as the sun rises later and later each morning, and hastens to its afternoon setting, we turn on the lights.  There is work to do.

This is understandable in a northern climate.  We work through the long days of winter in order to play in the summertime … and just hope that we actually get summertime! But those who live closer to the land—farmers for instance—know it should go the other way. They make hay while the sun shines … and retire when it leaves.

Perhaps, in our all-too-busy lives, church might become the one place where we can rest. That is after all the intention of the Sabbath day.  But even our worship can become busy, as we move quickly from one thing to the next, talking in shrill voices, filling the spaces with movement. But what would it be like, when we enter the church proper, to sit in silence, to wait, to breathe, to take a reflective pause between the readings, to gaze inward during the sermon?

We cannot turn back the tides of a compulsively busy culture. There is, indeed, work to do. But we can take whatever quiet moments are offered to us on the Sabbath and, putting all worry and anxiety aside, simply be. And so rebalance the universe.

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