I looked though my Art Gallery to find a piece for this week’s Thought—Rest. I settled on this Ink (pen without brush). I drew it thirteen years ago for the owners of Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast in Anoka, Minnesota. In retrospect, I wish I had used the brush for shading to give it more depth.
Individuals or couples sometimes choose a Bed & Breakfast, like Ticknor Hill, to ‘get away’ from everyday schedules, to actually ‘Rest’. Do you need a ‘Rest’ from the restlessness of your Coronavirus life?
Here’s a little back-story as to how I arrived at ‘Rest’ for our Thought: Beginning early this year, Marj and I joined with three other retired couples—one other being a retired Pastor–for a Small Group Bible study.
We decided on: Life Without Lack, Living in the Fullness of PSALM 23 by Dallas Willard. The paperback includes a Study Guide for the nine sessions. Our first meeting was March 2nd. Then came Coronavirus and social distancing. Our next six sessions were from home using Zoom technology. Last week, we met in person, outside, at nearby Thomas Lake Park in Egan. It was perfect! Today we meet at the same park for our final session. End of back story.
I’m trying to use my improving ‘listening aid’ (from last week’s Blog’) to arriving at weekly ‘Thoughts’: “Lord, where are we going this week?” As the idea emerges, I jot it down on my yellow legal pad beside the studio reading chair, and we start to work! I like what our book’s author said about Rest:
“Rest is an act of faith, especially today…
Few people get the rest God intends for their wellbeing. Remember that the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments, an entire day to be set aside for rest. But how often do you keep the Sabbath? Spiritual practices such as Sabbath, rest, solitude, and silence are essentially “casting all your care upon Him” (1 Peter 5:7). When you’ve done this enough to convince yourself that the world will be able to function without you, you will find true rest. This is fundamental to our lives, yet because of the way this world is set up, one of the primary temptations is to not get enough rest. This is one reason we have so much addiction and abuse today…
“You are not meant to live in a constant state of fatigue…
Tiredness is a spiritual problem, not because it is a sin, but because being tired creates difficulties for your spiritual life: Robbing you of the energy needed to pursue God. You may not be getting enough restful and refreshing sleep. You might even empathize with David when he wasn’t sleeping because he had people chasing after him in an effort to kill him. In Psalm 3, David declared that his situation was so bad that people were saying that even God couldn’t help him. But he cried out to God and was heard (.4), and then he could sleep. In verse 5 we read, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.” David went on to say that he would not be afraid; salvation belongs to the lord. As you see here, our ability to sleep is a sign of our faith.
“Our confidence in God can lead us to “lie down in green pastures”
… and rest in God, putting our minds at ease because our hearts are at peace, so that we wake the next morning refreshed and thankful. If this is a problem for you, make it a spiritual priority to find out why you are not sleeping and how to solve it ‘this many involve not watching late night television… or maybe you are overeating or doing something else that keeps you from getting to sleep, Whatever it may be, it must be identified and dealt with because you need to rest.”
As you work on getting eight hours of ‘shut eye’ per day, consider taking a look at the book our group will complete this afternoon: Life Without Lack, Living in the Fullness of PSALM 23 by Dallas Willard.
Also, consider inviting a few friends to join you in a small group study to read and discuss the 23rd Psalm using the study guide. I believe everyone will be enriched. Contact me if you have questions.
“He [She] who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty”. Psalm 91:1
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”