< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: A Place Called Simplicity - Part 5 - Rest

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Place Called Simplicity - Part 5 - Rest

Claire Cloninger, the author of this book, called this next section "Heaven's pockets in Earth's apron."

Too often, work has been our way of placing value on ourselves. We have trouble doing anything that’s “non-productive.” We weren’t born that way! Kids immediately know how to kick back and have fun. When I was growing up I’d go to the pool with friends in the morning, play made up games outside with the neighborhood kids in the afternoon and then things like kick ball or Red Light Green light in the evening. Of course I had chores for my mom, but they took a small chunk of my time. And I didn’t feel guilty about enjoying summer!

The author thinks it’s tragic that we’ve lost the ability to slow down and enjoy time, space and each other. Somehow we’ve made rest a shameful, frivolous luxury when in fact it’s a necessity. But the rest we need isn’t sitting in front of a TV or surfing the net every night. Or all the other activities that our billion-dollar leisure industry throws at us. When you think of vacations don’t you immediately think of hotels, airline tickets, restaurants and admission tickets?

Real rest cannot be purchased. It’s a gift we can only discover when we are finally committed to slowing down and easing up. Reading a book on the porch, napping on a rainy afternoon, coffee with a friend, picking flowers for a vase, long conversations at the table after dinner, hobbies and crafts. Shifting the way you think and relaxing in to the moment.

It was actually one of God’s commandments! Even God rested on the 7th day and He told us to do that too. He didn’t need to rest; He rested to enjoy His creation. We need to do that too. We need to turn from our driven pursuits to enjoy His creation and just “be” with Him.

The author wrote, “God has woven a beautiful silver strand of rest into the fabric of His plan for our lives. When the world we live in prods and pushes us to follow its hectic pace, we need to take time to rediscover the healing patterns of God’s plan.” And “When we stop and rest in Him, our ambitions are tamed, our anxieties are soothed, our earthly cares are shrunk to their actual size and we are healed in mysterious ways that only God can fully understand.”

Earth’s apron is covered with little pockets of heaven’s rest for those who will stop to find them.

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