Give it a rest


This passage is from All Will Be Well: 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher (Julian or Norwich).

I've been working a lot on goal #5 this week. Overall, I'm making progress. Utilizing my productivity tools...outlining a daily schedule. Nevertheless, many unexpected things pop up every day, and I'm not sure that will ever be prevented. Distractions are the new normal. And I feel deep inside that this is healthy for me and my journey.

So new idea: moving forward, I will just assume that I will accomplish half of the things I planned for, and then the rest of the time I will accomplish tasks for which I did not anticipate. And then, the day will be a success. ;)

It has been a good week. And I'm really, really thankful for my teammates.

Big improvement: I am taking at least one 15-minute walking break per day. During my walks, I sometimes bring this book along and read a passage or two. Thursday I read this one.

We find no rest for our heart or spirit
as long as we seek it in insignificant things,
which cannot satisfy us,
rather than in God

I think that's true.

But I still try.

I try to find rest for my heart and spirit in a billion other places. And even things that seem significant...significant, meaningful places in which to rest - they aren't. Not compared to God.

I think it's hard to rest.

It's so utterly challenging to just stop and rest. Not necessarily just physical rest either. It's hard to rest my brain. It's hard to rest my will and my emotions. My analyzing. My worrying. It's hard to rest my plans and my wants and my dreams and my plans. And my plans. Did I mention my plans? It's hard to put those guys to bed. They have a mind of their own, those plans.

Give it a rest, right?

But how?

What does that even mean, "rest in God?"

Psalm 62:5 states, "Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him."

I like that. Good job, Psalmist. Just go ahead and command your soul to find rest in God. I'll try that, too. "Yes, my soul, find rest in God."

Hey, Soul: did you not hear me?

I said: "please find some rest in God."

Soul: "Okay."

I wish it worked like that. Maybe it would. Maybe it could. Maybe it does work like that. Maybe I make it more complicated than it needs to be. Maybe I'm just too preoccupied. The Martha of the Mary and Martha Sister Act...busy with other things when the one thing needed was right in front of my nose.

But there's something about breathing deep...and about stepping into the chapel and staring at the back of the heads of women who have devoted their whole lives to a purpose greater than themselves...about kneeling...about talking to Mary like we're friends...about turning off the notifications on my cell phone...about cooking mushrooms...about the smell of a candle right after I blow it out...about the way my head feels on my favorite pillow...

that feels like rest.

Real rest.

Real, sacred, beautiful, God-rooted rest.

And so I say with the Psalmist words that seem impossible but are somehow made possible through a multitude of holy mysteries: "Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him."

1 comment:

  1. You're very wise to realize that plans must frequently change, so planning out only a portion of your time is a sound acknowledgment of reality, and a great way to reduce stress!

    As someone who sat at work for much of his career, I applaud your walking break. Recent research shows that more frequent breaks are also necessary for good health. Even just standing up and moving around for a couple minutes helps. Here's a link: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20140407/sitting-disease-faq