“Rest is the sweet sauce of labour” (Plutarch, https://www.forbes.com/quotes/theme/rest/).
Photos courtesy of Kevin Sinclair (2018).
What if you woke up to the marvelous scenes in the photos above? How would you feel?
In rest, revelations about life appear! Stress disappears! You breathe deeper! Your muscles relax! You enjoy every bite of a meal – simple fare or extravagant elegance!
I have been stealing moments of rest the last few weeks, attempting to finish one last book before taking a little break. But, as I have stolen moments of rest, patterns have emerged.
Has anyone noticed that the octogenarians seem to be going? Last week, we said goodbye to Aretha Franklin (76) and Kofi Annan (80); and this past weekend, John Mc Cain (81) and Easton Douglas (81). All of the same generation. All who powerfully defined their spaces. All who are being cherished for their contributions because they were all dignitaries.
All moved in their generation in a way that still impacts us today. And, now, they all have rested. They have rested from their pain, their have rested from their suffering, and they have rested from the burdens of this world.
But, what about us who remain? What does this apparent “so long” from a generation of greats say to us?
I believe that it is encouragement for us to take the necessary rest that we need. We run about from place to place and event to event, not realizing that we need to rest in the journey. At the end, it is your life story that will be cherished, not just moments in it. Think about it for a minute, if you were to go right now what would your life story reveal?
Josephine Rathbone (https://www.forbes.com/quotes/theme/rest/ ) said, “If we could learn how to balance rest against effort, calmness against strain, quiet against turmoil, we would assure ourselves of joy in living and psychological health for life.” And, it is absolutely true!
One of my most treasured places to find rest is the beach. I am reminded of one of my favourite meditations when I am there, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). When I consider the horizon, where the deep blue waters seem to kiss the sky, and my toes squish grains of sand between the waves that crash over my feet, my mind is at peace. I am in awe of how huge this world is and how small my part in it is compared to this giant ocean spread out before me.
The actions of the waves crashing of my feet time and time again without melting them, remind me that I remain steady even though the sand beneath me is wearing away and the waves softly pelt at me. I am in no danger. I only need to take a step or two to get out of the water. Also, I only need to take a step or two to get deeper into it. The choice is mine which way to go.
Photos courtesy of WordPress.com (2018).
It’s only in rest that the true state of affairs is revealed! It is only in rest that your body relaxes and your muscles are not tensed in preparation for the next fight of life.
So why not consider a walk by the lake, the pond, the river, the pool or the sea? Or maybe there is a fountain nearby? The sound of moving water soothes your soul like nothing else. The rippling action of the water as it moves across the surface is relaxing. If you can, step into it and then step out. Watch how the droplets on your skin will eventually dry once they are exposed to air.
Nothing lasts forever. With the pleasure so comes the pain. With the joy so comes the sorrow. It is only rest that reminds us that the balance to life is always at work.
So, take time to rest. Find a place of quiet rest. In the middle of the day, it may be a bench in the park, or a meditation room in an office. Recently, I saw a spectacular place of meditation at the FIFA headquarters made of white marble (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n3ct59bs). Installed by the new Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, it is offered as a place where her staff can retreat from the pressures that they face each day and refresh themselves. It is the kind of place where just a few moments in it are guaranteed to give you a new perspective on whatever troubles brought you there.
So, find your place of rest! It is not simply a luxury, it is a necessity!
My moments of rest remind me that Nature’s bounty will be even better if I take time to get a new perspective. Until it comes to you, enjoy what’s on offer at my YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/dPM6DGUZ0JU . More offerings of gratitude are available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD. Teachers, don’t forget the For a Teacher’s Heart, is just for you.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Sinclair (2018).