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
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.
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
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?
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,
But I am not the same everywhere.”
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?
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…