Thoughts, Ideas and Inspiration by Melissa Earley

Paddling My Way Back to Sanity

Last week as my news feed swirled with reactions to the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, the speeding up of climate change, and the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, I felt like I was reading the first chapter of a dystopian novel. Is this what it’s like to hover at the beginning of the end of the world? My chest tightened and my head felt heavy, as if someone had opened my skull and poured in concrete.

And then, scrolling through Facebook, I saw an ad for a used kayak. A red one. I imagined myself gliding through the water, surrounded by the sounds of rustling trees, birdsong and humming insects.  I realized I hadn’t gone kayaking all summer. So I went. I rented a kayak (a red one) at Busse Lake. I paddled by resting ducks and cormorants drying their wings in the setting sun. I admired the regal posture of an egret and noticed the yellows and oranges of changing leaves. I breathed in the stillness of the glassy lake and let it quiet my soul.

When I got back in my car the world was still a mess. Nothing had changed. Except me. I felt renewed, recharged, at peace. There is work to be done. We need to address the pressing concerns of our time. But not at the expense of joy. Sabbath is much more than a day of the week. Sabbath is God’s gift of time when we set aside our worry and our work to enjoy all that God has made. In Sabbath time we practice trusting that God’s love for us does not rely on our accomplishments and that our future is in God’s hands.


  1. Norma Lee Kerns Barnhart

    Oh. I so identify with this. What a great way to take care of yourself and be reminded that God will provide!! Thank you for this good word.

    • admin

      Thanks, Normal Lee.

  2. Betty

    Perhaps the world isn’t a mess, but instead we are choosing to fill our need for human connections with garbage from political leaders who need us to believe our world is a mess so we choose sides, vilify the other team, and stay anxious and angry. The only thing this does is keep them in positions of power where they continue to do things that ensure our world is a mess. Or at least appears that way. Our Sabbath is rarely observed with presence, more often it seems to be a small slice of peace in a day of multitasking and navigating who is on our team and who isn’t. The world is beautiful – replete with opportunities for us to help others and build meaningful connections.

    • admin

      Thank you, Betty. I like how you you put it, “The world is beautiful — and replete with opportunities for us to help others and build meaningful connections.

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