Skip to main content

No Time to Rest?

In a quick check of email this morning, I saw that several people had forwarded today’s “Lent Day by Day” reflection to me, mentioning how appropriate it was as we enter what promises to be a gorgeous weekend.

If you didn’t receive it, or even if you did and didn’t reflect on it, here it is again:

“The Sabbath is a day of rest. What does it mean to rest? Tilopa, a 9th-century Buddhist master, wrote:

‘Do not remember the past;
Do not predict the future;
Do not think about the present;
Do not analyze;
Do not control;

Powerful limits.
But what do we rest from? What is work? Most of us work with our minds, so do we shut off our minds with the glowing screen of the TV? Is that “rest” -- turning everything off?

We should not forget active rest. Play. Exploration of questions and interests that are simply fun. When you were a child, what was more relaxing than play?

What if we rested from the media that surrounds us? Imagine a day with no TV, no newspapers, no magazines. Imagine shutting off the fire hose of images, ideas, and icons rushing into our brains. Imagine a day to play, to tinker, to explore, to wander. How could you not feel rested after that?

God made us playful creatures. So let’s play.”

--Brent Newhall

The message comes at a good time, because -- speaking both personally and professionally -- I feel I can’t afford any time to rest or play.

But of course the best time to rest is when you don’t have time to.

If we wait to rest until we “just get through _____________,” we’ll find it’s been months, if not years, before we’ve finally realized there is always another ____________, and we’re burned out… not so much resting as recovering from exhaustion. That kind of rest is not conducive to play; it isn’t really even rest.

More importantly, when we rest only in those times we feel like life is “under control,” we lose the whole point of Sabbath rest, which is to remind ourselves that God is in control. As the bumper sticker says, “There is only one God. Quit applying for his position.”

To rest, to play -- especially when we don’t have time for it -- is a helpful reminder that God is God, and we are not.


Popular posts from this blog

Let's Unpack One Trump Tweet on Refugees

No one can  -- and I certainly don't want to try -- to unpack every tweet the person currently holding the office of President of the United States sends out.

No one has the time to respond to every one of his tweets on just one issue. Although I wish I had the time on the issue of the Executive Orders recently issued in regard to refugees.

But every so often I feel I MUST respond to at least SOME of those tweets, lest I grow accustomed to them as normal. And I refuse to normalize the abnormal. 

Take one of Saturday's tweets, for example: in response to Judge Robart's temporarily stopping an Executive Orders, there was this: 

“What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?” 

Let's unpack: 

"What is our country coming to..." 
Does that lament sound familiar? Ask yourself: who often says it, where do you hear it from the most? Is it a positive, hopeful line of thinking? I wil…

The Beatitudes, Lady Liberty, and Refugees

A sermon preached January 29, 2017
The Rev. John Ohmer, Rector
The Falls Church Episcopal

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the p…