The rhythm of life.
Dear friends and members of St. Matt’s,
I pray this note finds you well. And I hope that you are staying in and staying safe as much as possible. Please do be in touch if there’s anything you need.
For all of us, the rhythm of life has changed. For many of us, working from home all the time is a new adventure. For others, even if you were used to working at home, the addition of extra family around has added some new challenges. Even if you're not working, the inability to venture out and experience life as we normally do creates the challenge of isolation. If you’re like me, your work hours have only extended and expanded as there's no natural start or end time - just work that needs to be done. So, I speak from shared experience when I say that it's important we all try to maintain some sense of balance. And as you know, I'm fond of saying that the season of Lent lends itself well to this search for balance. The invitation of Lent is to think through patterns, priorities, and what really matters so that we might draw more near to God. Jesus tells us that he comes to earth so that we might have life - and have it abundantly. We can't do that if we neglect our mental, physical, and spiritual health. This is a crucial part of developing a mature faith, too.
I want to encourage you to take that invitation seriously - especially now. How can you care for your own physical, mental, and spiritual health? Keep in mind the pieces of your life that sustain and fulfill you. Those pieces of life still need to happen, even if they're modified. And I want to encourage you, if you haven't already, to find some structure for these days that takes all those pieces of you into account. If you need to run in the morning, do that. If you usually see friends, find a way to do that virtually. On a day like this one, as the sun shines, go outside for a little while and enjoy the flowers that are just starting to emerge. And plug in to all that is happening at St. Matt’s. We are working hard to give you many points of connection throughout the week. In fact, there’s something to do with us almost every day, and there’s more still to come.
The newsletter from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut today included some links to resources that might help. I'm sharing that link below so that you can take a look as well - there are some really interesting options. And this morning, Jen Kepner sent me a Morning MeditOcean from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For me, that checks a lot of boxes - including the ocean! And the way that they're inviting viewers into breathing and mediation is the same way that Christians (and others of many faiths) have entered into meditation for thousands of years. These are basic mindfulness practices that are proven to calm our bodies, minds, and spirits. And they can be helpful for people (and children!) of all ages. So if you do go watch and listen, know that you are looking at the beauty of creation, and the God who created that beauty also made you. Know that this kind of prayer and meditation connects you to the faithful all around the world - even if the platform isn't specifically religious. And know that the warmth you're being guided to, the peace, the still small voice - that, indeed, is the God who loves you and all of creation unendingly.
If you need help exploring ways to structure this time, send me a note. I'd love to connect with you on Zoom. Consider the structure of your day; include time for each of the three categories: physical, mental, and spiritual health. Tune in to Compline tonight at 9pm and worship in the beauty of holiness. Find your rhythm. Keep the rhythm. God bless you. And God keep you.
Pro-tip on Morning MeditOceans, scroll down a bit and look for the meditations with the jellies!
Click here to take a look at these curated (and continually updated) resources from ECCT. There are links to a variety of community meetings as well as things like virtual museum tours, virtual park tours, meditation exercises, and images of space. And all of it framed as an opportunity to care for yourself and for the ones you love.