Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress; I will not be shaken…
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
I have been pondering why it is that I find such rest, refreshment and relaxation at White Point lodge, why I find it also on our back deck (when there are no bugs!), why it is I found it when Kim and celebrated our 20th anniversary in Ireland, why it is I find it walking the Polly’s Cove trail, and my conclusion is this, not only do I need to stop what busy work I am doing, I need to be attentive to the rest I find in God’s work and God’s presence. That is why I find this rest so often in Creation, I experience the fingerprints of God in nature, in trees especially, but in the ocean too, in the bright sky, in the sun and the moon, in tall grass and birds singing. All of Creation reminds me that I am NOT at the centre, I am part of what God has designed and woven together but NOT at the centre.
I think this reveals to myself what it is I love and what it is that I feel annoying about the evangelical tradition, their understanding that it is only in God where rest is found (love it!) but that it has to fasten onto this that I am at the centre. I think this is where the false impression is made that when all over the world there is suffering and heartache only when it comes to me do questions of theodicy, why me?, arise. I used to find this so strange, how clever, worldly, mature persons could get through life knowing about pain and suffering all over the globe and yet somehow only experience the angst of “why me?” when the suffering came to them. How odd? But I think this is a direct result of feeling that everything God does is all about them, when they lose their keys and find them, God did that for them, when they are lost and a stranger tells them where to go, God does that for them, when they need a pair of shoes and someone tells them of a sale at the Mall, God did that for them. Meanwhile there are hundreds of thousands of people living in poverty, people with terminal illness, children being sold into slavery, but somehow the lack of deliverance from these afflictions is less evidence of God’s presence than when I found my keys.
I find peace of mind and heart in knowing that I am less at the centre of things than I am in a woven fabric of Creation, in other words it is more meaningful to my soul to know I am part of something larger than self than it is to imagine it is all about me. When I stop what it is I am doing and rest in all of God, in all that God is doing, in my connections to everything and everyone, I feel at peace, I feel whole, I feel I am in the midst of a healing, life-giving, and nourishing source, power, and spirit.
It is not enough to “get away” or to stop or to pamper one’s self. None of that lasts or heals what ails us, none of that recharges our batteries or gives us spirit to embrace the challenges that lay ahead, what does refresh, relax and repurpose our lives is to take rest in God, in what God is doing, in who God is, and our connection to it all. Rest.