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Have you heard of the sayings, “As within, so without,” “As you think, so you act”? Other words of whit attempt to tell you that “you are what you eat.” I need to ask, has anyone heard the saying, “As above, so below”?

Those words may have passed through my ears before. They had not grabbed my attention until recently. There is cause for that and I’ll explain.

You see, I’ve been away from writing for quite a while. I think my last article here was back in January or February. Life put some speed bumps in my way. I attempted powering through obstacles thinking I was in control. God must have been laughing.

It’s been said that if you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans. Shall we assume what I heard was more than a chuckle? Normally, I try to look at these bumps in the road as a notice to slow down. After trying that method, a conclusion deemed my method as flawed.

We often hear of the importance of taking time for the Sabbath. I’m an ordained minister so being at church on Sunday is a given. What can be missing in our lives is taking the time for Sabbath throughout the day. How about throughout the hour?

There are so many times we must need to have that Sabbath. Call it by its other names: rest, recreation, prayer, meditation, a nap or time apart from normal activities for example. Failure to recognize the little notices your body receives from lack of rest can lead to more problems.

Making time for Sabbath, taking the time apart from life is so important, our last Diocesan Clergy Conference focused on our down-time. We gathered together to remind ourselves how important re-creation is. It was there that I started to hear myself talking about needing some down-time.

Shortly after the conference I came upon some literature with the words, “As above, so below.” For a Christian, this is another way of saying “... on earth as it is in heaven” from the Lord’s Prayer. For a theologian, this is another way of describing Jesus on the cross. The wood points not only to heaven (above) but also to earth (below).

Hold that image of the cross pointing to the sky, yet buried in the ground. If we want to ascend, to reach a higher place, we must first descend. Plant our cross firmly in the ground. We must wrestle with ourselves, go deep, find out what is preventing us from ascending.

As another saying goes, “You can’t reach your new destination with old luggage.” Do what you can to find what enriches you and helps you ascend. It may be prayer, meditation, exercise or if you have the luxury, it could be taking a daily nap! When you find what works, put it into action.

Here’s praying you’ll find a way to achieve the saying “As above, so below.”

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The Rev. Peter Mark Gdula is a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.

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