October 25, 2020

Idleness

This Sunday I have a more whimsical poem for you.  Read it carefully, putting aside for a moment any tense insistence on perfect doctrine or scruples passed down from Puritan forefathers.  Maybe, when you’re done reading it, you can turn off the computer and go outside for a half-hour or so, just leaning on the fence or scratching the dog’s stomach.  It’s hard work, but someone’s got to do it.

 

Idleness

By Andrew Young

 

God, you’ve so much to do,

To think of, watch and listen to,

That I will let all else go by

And lending ear and eye

Help you to watch how in the combe

Winds sweep dead leaves without a broom;

And rooks in the spring-reddened trees

Restore their villages,

Nest by dark nest

Swaying at rest on the trees’ frail unrest;

Or on this limestone wall,

Leaning with ease, with you recall

How once these heavy stones

Swam in the sea as shells and bones;

And hear that owl snore in a tree

Till it grows dark enough for him to see;

In fact, will learn to shirk

No idleness that I may share your work.

 

Comments

  1. I like this poem. I’ve been reading a book “The Rest of God” which is subtitled Restoring your soul by restoring Sabbath, and this poem really is in the spirit of the book. sometimes we need to sit back and enjoy God and His creation. As He intended. 🙂

  2. It’s always good to rest.

    And resting in Christ and His finished work is the best kind of rest.

    Thanks, Damaris!

  3. I recognize the picture!! 😀 It’s from Glacier National Park in Montana!! My old stomping grounds. How I wish I could move back to Montana tomorrow… (sigh….)

  4. Idlesness is something I have been trying to do a bit more now that I am getting older. And if it wasn’t for my wife reminding me to stop and smell the roses then I might not attempt it at all (she likes to remind me that no one will really remember the guy who worked hard at his job – someone else will just come take his place).

    I guess for years I connected idleness with laziness or procrastination, two things I was very good at when I was a teen and fought hard against when I grew into my twenties.

    But now I want to take time – at 48 I still have a five year old at home and I am enjoying every minute of it. And enjoying my older ones too. And feeling my mortality and more concerned about the state of my immortality.

    Thanks for presenting these words so that they could dance around my head a bit -as a little reminder to what is truly important.

  5. It is said that Henry Ford once said that those who are always busy weren’t doing thier best work. He required his executives every once in a while to clear out their desks, prop their feet up on them, and dream some fresh dreams.

    Here’s a John Denver song which exemplifies this poem.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEfIdstKjvE

  6. I had a strange experience of letting God experience His world through me. I’m not sure I can explain that but that poem reminded me of it.