August 29, 2013 Panajachel, Guatemala
What is it in us that aches for rest?
As I learn to rest in this new place, I pause and grin at the children playing fútbol on the cancha behind my backyard. My gaze travels up the mountains that surround me and I stare in awe of the quilted patchwork of greens and browns, of crops and flowers, of animals and homes.
It is quite funny, this feeling of rest in a place that ebbs and flows with the morning and evening rains. Yet the rest I find here comes with an unsettling that is required in order to hold this place as a child would hold a lightening bug in her hands on a late summer evening: in awe, giggling curiously, peeking in at its luminous presence, yet anxious that all too soon the creature will depart, flying far from her hands.
As the smoke from kitchens float upward to mix into the mists coming from the volcanoes and lake, perhaps the Spirit is inviting me, and all who visit here, to allow our stories to lift towards the mountains from whence comes our help (Ps. 121). For there, in the Maker of heaven and earth, our souls learn to find purpose and rest anew. It is the rest – the soul smile – that comes with each hearing of children’s laughter as they run toward the fútbol goal, kicking and running, giggling and delighting in what is temporary, but oh so precious – time. Time spent in communion, time spent in awe of stories shared, time spent on purpose.
Slowing down is hard for this gal from the United States. But this place begs to be explored breath by breath. As I learn to take time to spend time on purpose – something miraculous happens – I rest.
We laugh, we share stories, we live.
We delight in the simple things like the oranges and reds of our freshly made carne asada con chile pimienta, the yellows of the birds resting on the clothes line, the chocolate dribbling off of our chins as we race to finish our helados before they melt, in the simple encounters of fellowship that are so small, yet contain mountainous joy.
In daily life, in the daily encounters with others that are so simple, yet so sacred, this place is teaching me anew what it is to live life not only “with purpose” but also “on purpose.”