Awaking to Rest

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes

Dear Christ Church,

This week’s CliffNotes is a guest post by Meghan Scully, Senior Warden.

Recently I was introduced to the band Rain for Roots, a group that describes themselves as “making new songs about the old Story for children.” The songs are fabulous, for child and adult alike. In our ordinary morning routine of making toast, starting a load of laundry, and listening to my pretend cheetahs roaming the Savanna in either harmony or discord, the lyrics usually are muffled by the foreground noises. But one morning, there was a phrase in a song that landed as bolded words to my ears: learn to rest even while you’re awake.

To this day, Matt teases me that I was his bride who couldn’t stay awake on our honeymoon. Riding the Tube mid-afternoon in London, I’d close my eyes and drift into a peaceful sleep even with frequent stops and loud announcements. I can sleep well anywhere. But to rest even while I’m awake? That’s something else entirely not in my nature as an insecure, perfectionist-bent, task-oriented, often frantic, anxiety-filled being.

Some of you may be reading The Rest of God during this Lenten season. Mark Buchanan writes, “Sabbath is…letting go [of] those parts of our identities and abilities in which we are constantly tempted to find our security and discovering afresh that we are his children and that he is our Father and shield and defender.”

In His goodness, God has both provided a way for us to rest, and daily, moment by moment, invited us to partake in that rest. In order for me to rest while I’m awake, I have to regularly turn over to the Lord my incapacitating fear that my never-ending to-do lists won’t get done; the various hats I wear that allure me into thinking they give me worth; and the lies that it’s all up to me and I’m responsible to get it all done. In order for me to rest while I’m awake, I have to come back time and again to my true identity: I am His daughter, His beloved.

We are His children, whom He deeply loves, accepts and rescues. No matter what it is that distracts, allures and keeps us resisting His liberating rest, His invitation to enter into that rest always remains: “Come to Me. Learn to rest even while you’re awake.”

Your sister learning with you,