Good for the Soul



Night Blooming Cereus triptych

by Peggy Hahn, Executive Director

As I sat in our backyard, enjoying a glass of wine with my husband, waiting for my Night Blooming Cereus to open, I felt myself relax. The anticipation of the beauty of this spectacular flower that blooms only once is part of our summer faith practice.

We have learned to know “it’s tonight” but the timing depends on the flower so we have to wait. Sadly, I often come home from travel to discover I missed the moment because the flower doesn’t care if we are watching. We covet those evenings where we join the rest of the garden in just waiting for her to gradually open. She won’t open in the light and even begins to withdraw the moment we shine the flashlight to take a photo.

These times of rest are essential for all of us. Healthy leaders find rhythms of daily prayer, weekly Sabbath, monthly reflection, annual vacation, and an occasional sabbatical. This never happens without great effort as the pressure to produce, perform, and partner is endless. Yet the benefits of checking out once in a while is exactly what it takes to be creative, loving, and whole. God made us to need the garden.

What practices are good for your soul?

Holy moments are all around us and the summer is a good time to push pause on “busy” to breathe in a little of the sacred. Rest, Biblically known as Sabbath, is a spiritual practice that the strongest leaders take seriously.

When the morning comes, the flower is spent. It has drooped down, with all the glory of the evening gone. There’s just one chance to enjoy her gifts.

So many things are like that. Time with children. Conversations with a youth. Alone time with a spouse or partner. Laughter with a neighbor. Sharing a meal with a friend. Our soul is aching for these moments of being present. Last night we prayed that you find that space in your own life—and just breathe.

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