Sister Maria Goretti
As the ice-cold beads of water drip down the side of my glass, I grasp it, feeling the wet, refreshing condensation which readily pours from sweet Southern iced tea in the summer. On a hot Louisiana day in August, I couldn’t think of anything better than a glass of my mom’s sweeter-than-pecan-pie iced tea. As I drink in the sweetness of the sugar, and, perhaps even more so, her love which really sweetens it, my hearts swells with gratitude for this gift of resting in the sweetness of maternal love, iced tea and Southern summer leisure – all gifts from God.
Growing up, I never fully realized the wisdom in which I was steeped, the Southern expertise on leisure that I breathed in and out like the fresh, moist air mixed with the smell of magnolia. It was a way of life. A culture built into the fabric of people’s everyday lives that, as Southerners, neither questioned nor fully reflected on since we were steeped in it. This leisure is a gift from God – it is a rest and refreshment that can bring us to a profound awareness of true presence and being. But, here is the good news – you don’t have to take a sabbatical in the Deep South to drink deeply the refreshing leisure that God wants for you.
God is Himself infinite delight and leisure. The Three Divine Persons take perfect rest and delight in one another . God is primarily all about being. Remember the name He gave to Moses? I AM. And this incomprehensible I AM, Who lavishly shares His Being with us, also desires that we share in His wisdom of being.
Let yourself tear away from the noise, the busyness and frenetic activity that can often take over and strangle our sense of being in God. Find your favorite quiet spot and be with God this summer. Be with your family. Be with your close friends. Be with those in need of companionship. Be in nature. Take rest in Jesus as He takes His rest in you. Leisure prepares us for heaven where we will enjoy eternal rest and delight in simply being with Him.
During these upcoming summer months, I pray that you take time to drink in the sweet Southern wisdom of being and leisure. It goes best paired with an ice-cold glass of sweeter-than-pecan-pie Southern iced tea. And why not take some time to just be.
A happy and blessed summer to all!
Sister Maria Goretti