I struggle in my relationship with rest. I feel I always need to be doing something, always improving myself in some way. But rest is an integral part of growth. Rest takes all of the data I've filled myself with, and integrates it into me. I helps me see with fresh and refreshed eyes. It helps me to rest in the One bigger than me.
Rest can help me get in touch with my true self, the self that is hidden with God in Christ. The self that is being lived through, that is a part of the mystery of the universe, that is at peace, that is good. For me, it's scary to rest because I fear that nothing will catch me if I fall into relaxation, but this is a lie. I must remember that there are seasons of life, seasons to fight, but also seasons to rest too.
If in faith I rest, character can be built into me. There is time for all the new data, all the new information to take its proper place in me and in the larger story that I'm a part of. The balance between rest and work can be difficult to understand but I believe contemplation, or a contemplative mind can understand it better than a simple either/or or dualistic way of thinking. With a contemplative mind, I can see that my rest makes my work all the more sweeter, and good work also will make my rest more productive.
We may even feel guilty or sinful if we start to rest. Also, when we start to rest we may feel ill at peace because the clutter going on in our mind and body may come to the surface. Our inconsistencies may seem louder because we have come to a place where we can see them more clearly. But inviting compassion into our times of rest, inviting the presence of Jesus into it, can help us bind to the One True Voice in the midst of our clutter. And in this way, we are transformed. We recognize Jesus more in deeper parts of us, which is salvation.
Lord God, give the capacity, the desire, to rest in you. Let all my troubles fall away in light of your beautiful rest. Please help me to be at peace with myself, with others, with you. And in all, help me to rest in my truest identity as a beautiful child of you.