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First Word, April 1st: For One Who Is Exhausted

By April 1, 2020April 2nd, 2020First Word

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)


I am tired often nowadays. The noise of my worries and fears is making it hard to fall asleep, and those thoughts drain my energy throughout the day. Yesterday I sat on the dock for 10 minutes and let the sounds of a restless lake drown out my thoughts. Turning my attention to the water in front of me, the cold air on my face, and the mountains in the distance, I was able to find peace and rest; creation never ceases to provide that.

May we remember that we can look to the creator for peaceful and restful moments during these uncertain times.

I listened to a conversation from the creators of the On Being podcast series about the value of just being which led me back to this blessing from John O’Donohue. “Be excessively gentle with yourself.”  Peace be with you, beloved sibling in Christ.

“For One Who Is Exhausted”

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.


(From the book To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue)

Carlee Wood serves as the Development Coordinator at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp and loves getting to hear and share the stories of FLBC. Roadside Sunflowers, campfires, and chai tea lattes are some of her favorite things.