Friday, September 02, 2011
Five Minute Friday: Rest
Holy crap - is it Friday again ALREADY?? Whoosh, that week just flew by. Must be what happens when you spend five minutes reflecting on the word OLDER, like we did last week. Because one thing is for certain sure about that whole word/idea/process/ugly reality: time goes faster as we age.
So, here we are. Once again invited to set our timers and see how the mind that lives in our fingers responds to a prompt. This week, it's a good one - so good, that even Lisa-Jo, the originator of this divine series, admits that it took her longer than 5 minutes to say what she wanted to say. So, I'll give it a whirl.
Because watching beautiful fish swimming is one of the most restful things I can think of, here is a shot from our recent family vacation - a tropical tank at the Monterey Bay
For far too much of my life, I have believed that 'rest' is something I earn. If I work hard enough, if I count off accomplishments on some cosmic scorecard, if I make sure that all the people in my universe are feeling cared for and understood, if I DO what I need to do, if I am making ever-forward progress toward becoming who I've decided I'm supposed to be - then, THEN I can rest. And I will have earned that privilege by virtue of all that I have done.
What it took me a long time to unfold and appreciate is the beauteous truth that rest is not a prize to be sought, a reward for good behavior. Instead, rest - beautiful, life-giving, spirit-savoring rest - is two things, neither of which has one blamed thing to do with what I do.
First of all, rest is a built-in design necessity. It is part of the created order, it is part of what it means to be human, created in the divine image. It is necessary, life-giving and central to being/becoming fully me. Rest needs to be part of my self-understanding, it is that important.
Secondly, rest is a gift - promised and delivered in Jesus. He didn't say, "Come to me after you've done everything your obsessive personality tells you have to do, when you're completely spun out and spent, after you've made sure that all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed - and then maybe I'll give you a chart and you can mark off your rest in 5 minute increments until you reach your allotted max."
No. Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are heavy-laden" - and that means right in the middle of all that mess you surround yourself with, all that 'required' behavior you're so dang worried about - "and I will give you rest."
Yeah, GIVE you rest. Give, gift - receive with gratitude - that kind of thing. Rest is a person, a relationship, a spiritual space inside that provides a center that IS rest. Amazing.
And I thought it was up to me.
Oh, yeah - this was more than five. I had to stop the timer at 2 when our baby arrived at the door for Friday care-giving, earlier than usual. And when I came back to what I had? I hated it. So I started over and just kept typing without looking at the timer. Probably about 10 minutes, truth be told. Interesting topic - one I continue to learn about, day after ding-dong day.