Time off

I took a few days off from 300wordsaday awhile back. I called it a sabbatical. It was actually a break for you and for me. I was traveling during many of those days to a variety of events, and I ran out of words.

I didn’t come back to writing all rested. But that wasn’t the point. Rest wasn’t on the list. I did come back with the realization that 300wordsaday is, for me, like manna. A daily provision.

If you need a review, manna was what showed up on the ground six days a week during most of the forty years the people of Israel wandered the desert. From the outset, God said it would be a day’s worth five days a week and two day’s worth on the sixth. And then, on the seventh day? Nothing.

When a few people tried to get extra on any day but the sixth, it rotted. When a few people tried to get some one the seventh, nothing.

God said, “I’ll feed you all you need, but you need to depend on me. And my schedule. And my commitment to just in time manufacturing.”

What I realized while I was not writing is that I can’t write ahead here. It never works. I can’t store up posts and plan a strategy and teach through something. Anything.  When I try, it feels off, contrived. And that’s not a bad thing.

In fact, it’s a great thing, an opportunity to daily depend on God for food.

Funny. When Jesus said to pray for daily bread in the prayer we know as the Lord’s prayer, he wasn’t just making it up. It wasn’t random.

It was the story of the forty years in the wilderness. Daily bread. Just enough. Nothing extra.

So, what’s your manna?

Here’s a video version of this post: Time off

And here’s a sermon on Matthew 5:21-26 I preached yesterday: A different kind of memorial day

8 thoughts on “Time off

  1. leeanncolvin@comcast.net

    maybe my manna is the troubles and worries in life. I mean, I get so worked up over things that I loose sleep, I get anxious and short tempered. But things don’t work out sooner or better just because I worry about them. It still takes a life time. Each day to unfold at it’s own pace. I want to make decisions, fix every thing for my self, my kids, my husband, my friends. You have given me some insight here. Thank you. Maybe tonight I will sleep better.


    1. Jon Swanson

      I love the way you described this. I’m reminded of Jesus talking in the sermon on the mount about each day having it’s own troubles. Daily troubles, daily provision. Thanks!


  2. Frank Reed

    No wonder I am always so hungry. My manna goes uneaten for long stretches of time and I have suffered as a result.

    My manna is God’s Word and I have consciously deprived myself of nutrition far too long.

    Your post is just one in a series of reminders to me lately that I have all I need if I would only take action.

    Thanks, Jon.

    P.S. – Please pray for those this Memorial Day who have given their lives and for their family members who are left with the hole in their lives.


  3. Mimi Meredith

    I am so grateful to hear you describe your writing process this way. I feel exactly the same way about blogging. I keep meaning to be disciplined and to stockpile posts in advance, but I just have such difficulty feeling sincere in that offering. You summed it up beautifully. And the reminder of how God’s timing and provisions works was just what I needed as well!


  4. Joanna Paterson

    Mine is, I think, one moment each day when I notice just one thing of beauty, or wonder, or kindness, or love, enough to make you stop, in awe, or gratitude, and take a mental note, or a photograph, or write a few words down, or simply stop, and be thankful for the provision of the moment.


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