The downtown YMCA has a large glass jar at the front desk with bright, colorful strips of paper and an invitation to “take a blessing” upon entering or departing. Recently, on my way in, I chose a yellow strip with the words “sometimes the work is resting.” It felt like a message from the universe, a reminder to slow down, to put my commitments in perspective.
In these times of heartbreak, frustration and anger, as war, gun violence, poverty and other oppressions are destroying so many lives, rest seems to be a luxury we can ill afford. But is it? To live into our commitments there is work we must do, and we must also give ourselves permission to rest, to re-energize our spirits for the sustained engagement that allows us to live into our call, whatever that might be. We need time for solitude and time to enjoy the company of our beloveds. We need time for laughter, joy and lightness. I have found that when I truly take time off by ignoring the inbox or silencing my phone while I am away, I return ready to re-engage, with greater creativity, enthusiasm, and a clearer vision for the work before me.
How about you, what is your call to live into your values in the world?
Do you allow yourself time to rest?
I invite you to consider Rev. Lynn Unger’s words from her poem, Camas Lilies:
“And you—what of your rushed
and useful life? Imagine setting it all down—
papers, plans, appointments, everything—
leaving only a note: “Gone
to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I’m through with blooming.”
May your useful, precious life be one in which there is space for setting it all down and taking time to rest. And then, let’s get back to it. There is so much good work to do, good trouble to get into – if we’re rested and energized for the job!
Rev. Claudia Jiménez