In the late hours of night, when the house is still, I retreat to my office and close the door, breathing in the quiet I’ve craved all day. It is here, in this room, surrounded by so much that makes me who I am, who I’ve been, that my thoughts and words and emotions come together. Sometimes, words come effortlessly, rhythmically, like dancers gliding across the ballroom floor. Other times, I lean my head against the back of a chair, the words swirling and spinning in a cacophony of fragmented thoughts, all over the place, too scattered to come together in a cohesive way.
And then there are times when words get stuck in my throat, when I’m forced to sob them out into the air, where they rise to the ceiling, then settle into the corners of the room, to visit me again on another day.
Thoughts. Words. Emotions. We are made up of these things.
Lately, my thoughts and words and emotions have been pondering how life simply takes a lot out of us, sometimes taking more than it gives, and how finding places of rest is essential for body, mind, and spirit.
We all know what it's like when life gets heavy, when unexpected burdens fall on us. In those times, the heart is overloaded, feet like concrete blocks, from the added weight. In such times, rest is needed for unloading, for ridding the heart of excess baggage, for emptying out.
And then there are times when life is desolate, barren, the music silent. In those times, the heart aches to be whole again, to hear music again, to glimpse a ray of hope. In the barren times, rest is needed for filling up, for finding beauty, for replenishing.
Rest is not a sign of weakness or surrender or laziness. Rest is a necessity and without it, the fire seeps out of our spirit and leaves us shriveled and depleted. The journey becomes harder and longer.
No time to rest, you say?
It is possible, I believe, to slip into a room, or step out into a sunny day, or starry night, if only for a few minutes, and come away with a rested mind and a peaceful heart. Isaiah 26:3 tells us how: “He will keep in perfect peace all who trust in him, all whose thoughts are fixed on him.” In John 14:27, Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." And then we find this invitation in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ”
Dear friends, as I write, night has deepened. The laundry has been folded and put away, the dishwasher hums its evening song. From somewhere inside, I feel strength rising for tomorrow’s demands. I know I am up for whatever the day will hold, as long as my burdens, my thoughts, and my trust are in the right place.
Until next time, sweet kindred spirits, thanks for sharing this quiet space of reflection with me. It means ever so much.