Courtesy of Kim Hayes
Courtesy of Kim Hayes

The Lord is my shepherd,

I shall not want. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

leads me beside still waters; 

and restores my soul.

Psalm 23: 1-3

Seeker,

Where do you find rest, to be re-stored, body and soul?

 

In our ancient story,

after the initial outburst of creativity,

Maker of All was refreshed and saw it was holy.

 

With a deep outpouring, the Creator breathed

tranquility, serenity and repose into being,

and all creation was infused with soul.

 

And on the seventh day

God finished the work of creation and rested.

So God blessed the seventh day

and hallowed it,

because on it God rested

from all the work of creation.

Genesis 2: 2-3

 

When we put our minds,

our hearts, our hands to rest,

the soul of our being comes to the fore.

 

The day of rest—

simply being for the sake of being—

is the crown of all creation and pinnacle of life.

 

Savoring Sabbath,

we taste this original blessing and claim our inheritance

as children of the God of Restoration.

 

But those who cannot rest,

whether by choice or circumstance,

remain slaves to something or someone.

 

And there are so many

restless souls, deprived of repose,

in the whirlwind of these times.

 

For un-restored, even the sweet miracle gift of life

becomes drudgery;

a chain of burdens to dull each precious dawn.

 

Shackled by debt, living daily with lack,

millions of God’s own

have never tasted their restorative birthright.

 

Millions more dress their days in busyness,

and seeking purpose in success,

find themselves tormented by the emptiness of too much.

 

By simple accident of birth,

many became perennial children of the conflict zone,

shell-shocked, from daybreak to dusk, without safety or solace.

 

It is no coincidence

that peace and rest are conjoined,

each leaning into the other.

 

In an ever-warring world, there is no rest.

In a restless society,

there is no space for peace.

 

How do you bring peace

to our tireless times,

and where do you find rest for your soul?

 woods

There once was a boy who went out

to the woods every day.

Noticing this habit, his mother asked,

 “Son, why do you go into the woods every day?”

The boy answered, “I go there to find God.”

His mother gently reprimanded the child,

 “Don’t you know that God is the same everywhere?”

To which the boy replied,

 “Yes, Mother.

But I am not the same everywhere.”

(Unknown)

 

May you take the time to rest,

and let the storehouse

of compassion and creativity be replenished.

 

May you open a space for serenity,

and breathe the possibility of peace

into every interaction with life; from insects to insurgents.

 

And may you bless every life in the arc of your care

with the twin sisters of Shabbat and Shalom.

Is this not the will of the God who rests and restores?

 peace

We deafen God day and night with our words,

“Lord, thy will be done.”

But then when God’s will does happen,

we are furious and don’t like it a bit.

When our will becomes God’s will, that is certainly good;

but how much better it would be if God’s will were to become our will…

Meister Eckhart

 

joe