Rest, the holy grail?

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
(Matthew 6:34, MSG)

Sunday rest, Carl Larsson

Sunday rest, Carl Larsson

So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. (Matthew 6:34, GNB)

A modern holy grail?

Of Hebrews 3:12-19 Richard Rohr writes, 'The author has found how to rest, and it has something to do with living in the present moment.  He or she beautifully conflates, past, present and future into a Biblical statement that later generations will call "the eternal now"...The only way that we can rest at peace in our minds is when we live in the fulness of the now, or what some in the Christian tradition called "the sacrament of the present moment".  Otherwise life is just endlessly rehashing the past and rehearsing the future, neither of which creates rest.'

Is this a modern day holy grail?  Finding rest, finding peace. We might hazard the thought that finding peace is resolved with a fundamental decision to be united to, and to be in love with, the Divine. And further reflection might lead us to ponder the word 'resolve'. And when it comes to the more earthy word 'rest' then we have ourselves a situation (Houston!).  

Tell me about exhaustion

Such thoughts are echoed in two stories which come to mind.  The poet David Whyte slumps before his mentor/confessor and sighs, "Talk to me about exhaustion".  His reply may be surprising: a primary source of exhaustion is the lack of wholeheartedness, by which he means our not being able to fully give ourselves to what we are doing.  This may lead to a reappraisal (maybe a change in routine or in job, which was Whyte's course) or act as a caution (don't flit about or scan obsessively, looking over your shoulder).  In looking at our exhaustion the contemplatives would urge us towards gentle non-judgmental observation.


The former England cricket captain David Gower (don't switch off!) observed that whilst waiting to take his turn to bat, it was possible to become exhausted even before you got onto the field. Looking intently into the future, pondering what may happen (the best, the worst) can render one almost immobile.

If silence is not merely the absence of sound then is rest more than the absence of work, of effort?

Picture:  Rest work (after millet), Van Gogh , an interesting title