Yesterday’s guest speaker spoke about sabbath, rest. She and I had talked earlier in the week about the subject, since I was the one leading last night’s discussion. Our conversation has been on my mind ever since.
After our conversation, I went to my R.E.S.T. group therapy class. I don’t actually know what that acronym stands for. I just know it’s a class about Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I find it coincidentally interesting that immediately after a discussion of “rest” as part of faith practice I would attend a class titled “REST.”
In class we talked about seeking happiness inducing experiences as part of managing our mental health issues. I think the two go hand in hand: rest and pleasure.
Rest means different things to different people and things which bring pleasure to one person are not the same as what brings pleasure to another.
What we, as Christians do know is that the Sabbath is made for people, not people for the Sabbath, at least according to Mark 2:27.
Another name for The Most High, The Almighty, The Lord, God is Abba or Father.
Now, if you’ve experienced the trauma of religious abuse or an abusive or neglectful relationship with your own father, this will be difficult, painful, or impossible to relate to, which is totally understandable and reasonable. I’m not trying to force feed my beliefs or faith on anyone. I’m simply saying what it means to me. You have free will and get to decide for yourself. No judgment. All are welcome here.
I never had a relationship with my own father. Nor has my life ever afforded me much of a sense of safety, an ability to rest, or experiences of delight. I didn’t grow up attending church, and I have had religion used against me and to manipulate me. It’s taken me a long time and a LOT of mental health healing to get here.
So, I find myself contemplating what it means to be a child of God, resting in his arms, and taking delight in him.
What if our hearts’ true desires are to be known completely and loved unconditionally? What if being fully known and wholly loved is our refuge and our shelter? What if what allows us to rest and let go of the tension, worry, and fear is a sense of safety? What if being rested opens our senses to be able to experience delight? What if this is what it means to become “as a little child?”
What if we could believe that God lives in us? What if we believed God is love? What if we believed God encompasses time and eternity?
Would all of this mean that we have constant access to God, who can fill us with love, offer safety, shelter, and rest, who can enable us to experience delight in the eternity of each moment in time…even in the midst of all the trials and pain?