When REST is counter-cultural

“When REST is Counter-Cultural”
Pastor’s Ponderings – Oct. 1, 2018
Where do you find the strength and energy to keep going when your to-do list is so long and everyone needs something from you? What is the Spark that keeps you lit up? When do you say, “Stop! I need to rest now.”? Is your body calling you to sit down, or stand up and do something else?
One of my favorite poets and philosophers, David Whyte, says the “antidote to exhaustion is not rest, but wholeheartedness.” What is wholeheartedness? How does a person in today’s world live wholeheartedly? The answer is courage. The root word of “courage” comes from the old French “corage,” which means “heart” or “innermost feeling.” Courage is wholehearted! Facing the exhaustion of living takes wholeheartedness, which is courageous!
Sabbath time, or rest, or meditation, or prayer with God, IS an act of resistance and rebellion against the status quo. Taking a “time out” to care for your spirit goes against the machinery of the world. It takes courage to leave a blank space on your calendar and not get defensive about it. When we run out of money or run short of money, it is obvious. There clearly isn’t enough to buy the new phone or the extra item or even pay off the necessary items. But running short of time gets treated like a personal failure, or a lack of personal planning. Many friends and colleagues of mine sacrifice Sabbath rest for the sake of time management, being on time, or getting the project finished, and finished adequately. But, Sabbath IS God’s priority for us to have a good life.
Rest, which includes vacation, napping and Sabbath, is judged as laziness, when in truth, rest is a direction from our God and of our faith. Sabbath is for re-orienting our spirit, our life and our bodies toward God, good health, and sound thinking. Taking Sabbath rest, to breathe, should not make you feel guilty or cause you to feel shame. Having time to eat dinner without shoving it down your throat is a reasonable choice and good for your health. It is even faithful. Taking time for you and your family takes courage, and is living a whole-hearted life!
Maybe finding restoration requires you to nap, but maybe it also calls you to change something to which you are committed. Maybe Sabbath time calls you to evaluate if you are living by the heart or by the calendar. The World challenges us to stick with the calendar and others expectations, but God calls us to living by heart, because living by heart, means living with the courage of faith and Sabbath. It is an entirely different focus of life. So, now is a good time to confess my fatigue. Life feels pretty hazy with moving and family commitments and church ministry. Sometimes it is going to be this way. But it shouldn’t be this way as a lifestyle. It shouldn’t be this way out of obligation to any person. It shouldn’t be this way out of a need to please others. Our fatigue shouldn’t be treated as a trophy or a martyr-ish brag. Our fatigue is a sign that things are out of balance and that is a call to reconnect with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, bring your healing breath to all who read this and are exhausted.
Please take care of yourself. Take time for wholehearted living and a nap. Find the restoration you need away from your calendar. Don’t give in to the shame or guilt that can come from saying “no.” Be fierce in faith and vigilant in hope! There is much on the horizon filled with joy!
God bless you today and everyday!
Pastor Leigh Ann

Leave a Reply