Respite: A Period of Rest or Relief

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”

(Isaiah 2:3 NRSV)

ruby reds

My day started early, waking before the sun. I sat down in my comfy blue chair, with my toasty warm slippers propped up on the ottoman and let my mind wander. Soon my mind filled with anxious thoughts about my “to-do” list. My energy faded just thinking about these tasks.

I started thinking that my spiritual intentions were meager, even though I wrote yesterday, right here on this blog that finding intentional ways to engage with God was important. I felt tired. So I began furiously scratching my feelings and thoughts on the page of my journal.

I poured out the interior raging of my mind on to the paper. Next thing I knew, I wrote the word RESPITE in all caps. I needed a mental pit stop. So when I saw the word RESPITE scribble itself out onto the page, I paused. I headed over to http://www.m-w.com to embark on one of my famous word adventures.

I found out that respite comes from the Latin “respectus” which means “act of looking back.” I surmised that a respite could include the act of looking back on God’s faithfulness to me in the past. He has rest and relief for me, if I will be quiet and listen.

One word leads to another, so I clicked on the “more at RESPECT” link to learn more about the origins of respite, under the respect etymology. I discovered that respite and respect hearken from “specere” (to look). Aha! To experience respite, I must look for God’s rest and relief.

My search continued, as I clicked on the link “more at SPY.” The definition of “spy” led me full circle to one of my favorite ways to engage with God and the world around me. To spy means “to see or notice.” When I practice seeking God or noticing the activity of the Holy Spirit around me, I find rest and relief.

I noticed that Isaiah readings are prominent this time of year in the liturgy of the Word. I considered that I have never really read the whole book of Isaiah, so I looked for a Bible study online. I realized that I have a commentary on my bookshelf and several study Bibles to aid me in understanding the book of Isaiah. All of a sudden, I was energized and ready to engage once again in the Advent{ure} that God had planned for me, instead of trying to shape my own devotional life. Now I was on a quest to read and understand how Isaiah fits into the big picture of the gospel. More Advent{ures} ahead!

What do you do when you need a RESPITE from your hectic life?

 

 

 

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