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The Saturday Stoke #1

The Saturday Stoke #1

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. 
— John Muir, The Yosemite (1912)

In 1912 John Muir (1838-1914), the Scottish naturalist, published The Yosemite, a chronicle of his first foray into the beautiful and rugged wilderness of what we know as Yosemite National Park. That’s where you can find this quote.

A great friend of mine sent this quote to me this week, which of course sent me chasing the passage in my Muir books.

It got me thinking about the importance of rest and play in our lives—something I think about often.

Don’t get caught thinking that in order to rest, you need to just sit in a hammock and meditate—though you certainly could do that.


You can rest in play. The important thing? Let go of the common distractions, and give yourself permission to tap into the joy that comes from being together, playing together, resting together.

Here’s a quick hack for resting …

Rest requires trust. This I learned from a dear friend many years ago. And though many of us know this, we still struggle to trust God enough to just ... stop.

Last month the Outer Banks reminded our family how beautiful true rest is. We played, we prayed, we played some more. We stopped—dumped the common distractions, and gave ourselves permission to just be.

In my studies of beauty, “pace” was one of those profound aspects of the beautiful that was a game-changer for me. If we never take the time to slow down, to stop, then we will not truly “see” the world or each other.

Beauty takes time, not only creating it, but seeing it: noticing the true nature of an ocean wave, watching a hummingbird eat, how the sun moves across the sand at sunset, the nuances of the Hebrew language in 1 Kings 19:11-12, the way your daughters play among the ferns, the lines left by joy on your wife’s face.

In pursuing rest we say to God, I trust in your provision not the work of my hands. We say, I want to see your glory, not just sing about it on Sunday morning.

It’s time to slow down, y’all (and I can say y’all cause I live in Waxhaw, North Carolina), and trust our Father enough to rest in him and truly see the wonders of His hands.

So get out there, play, pray, give yourself permission to stop … and enjoy being.

Enjoy your weekend!


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