Doing Nothing in Nothing but a Robe
by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
“He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” —Psalm 23.2,3 NIV
A few years ago I went to my first Spa. Oh my! This was during the writing of my book “Spa for the Soul.” I called it ‘research’. Of course, I have had to update my ‘research’ every year since the publication of that book.
At least that’s what I tell myself.
The truth is, I love being pampered at a Spa. And honey, we have a great one here in Connecticut that offers a fall discount package. So my three other ‘birthday buddies’ and I book it every year – girl bonding and low-key celebrating. (And of course the Spa thinks all of our birthdays are in September/October because that’s when we receive our coupons.)
Yesterday was The Day. To spend all day walking around a public place with nothing on but a white terry cloth robe. Well, at least everyone else was dressed the same way. I can’t tell you how many times I cinched my sash tightly. Just in case…
Now before you get all jealous of me, let me assure you that I deserved every single pampering minute. And so do you, actually. Whether or not we are fortunate enough to be given gift cards to a Spa, we are all made for the kind of rest and serenity inherent to such a time and place.
Did you know that SPA is a word that is actually an acronym for three Latin words — Salus Per Aquam, which mean “health by water?” (see, I did actually do some ‘research’) While water is the genesis of this term, health is an integral ingredient. Any true Spa will focus on improving your health — physically, emotionally, mentally and yes, spiritually.
Modern Spas have their roots in the ancient towns once known for the healing powers of their mineral waters and hot springs. People would come from far away to “take the waters” and restore their health. In the Bible, the Pool of Bethesda was such a Spa and believed to be a source of healing when the waters were stirred. That’s why the lame man had lain by that pool for 38 years, hoping to ‘take the waters.’
Over and over again we find in God’s Word refreshment for our soul thirst when we cry out like the psalmist, “God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.” Psalm 63.1
Are you in the middle of a desert place right now? Do you have a dehydrated heart?
When our bodies lack water they give off symptoms such as dry mouth, headaches or weak knees. But what are the indicators that our souls are deprived of spiritual water? “Dehydrated hearts send desperate messages. Snarling tempers. Waves of worry. Hopelessness. Sleeplessness. Loneliness. Resentment. Irritability. Insecurity. These are warnings. Symptoms of a dryness deep within.” (Max Lucado in “Come Thirsty”)
What is needed is ‘health by water’ — a SPA for our souls! (now that would make a great book title…) And it must come from the Source of living water — Jesus Christ! He wants to offer you a transformational Spa so that you, too, might be able to say, “He turns a desert into a pool of water, dry land into springs of water.” Psalm 107.35
God has made each of us in His image — body and soul. When we neglect one part, the other suffers. I have learned this the hard way. There have been seasons in my life when I focused on the spiritual, while unwittingly neglecting my physical health. There have been other seasons when the outward seemed to get more attention from me than the inward. Either way, our life becomes out of balance and must be restored.
Friend, it really is okay to rest. To linger “beside still waters” so that our Good Shepherd can “restore my soul.” Whether you do it at a Spa or beside a stream, doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that you take time away from the demands of the world, and focus on body and soul, possibly even surrounded by a few supportive friends.
“But when your soul is at rest it occupies the throne of your life.Your will is undivided and obeys God with joy. Your mind has thoughts of truth and beauty. You desire what is wholesome and good. Your body is filled with appetites that serve the good and with habits that lead you into excellent living. To remain healthy, our souls need solitude with no agenda, no distractions, no noise. If someone asks you what you did in your ‘time apart’ the correct response should be ‘Nothing.’ Doing nothing does wonders for the soul.” – John Ortberg in “Soul Keeping”
Yesterday I did nothing. Ahhhh….
under the mercy, Cindy
“Come everyone who is thirsty. Come to the waters… Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call to Him while He is near.” – Isaiah 55.1,6
©2014 Lucinda Secrest McDowell EncouragingWords.net
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