Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rest Intensively

I remember reading about President Franklin Roosevelt back in 1940 who was taken to his room in a condition of extreme exhaustion looking very old and tired. Yet, in an hour's time he came out again a new man, looking twenty years younger. His daughter remarked: "Father is like that; since his illness (he suffered from polio) he has trained himself to rest intensively; that is how he goes on."

That's such an interesting concept: to rest intensively. To allow rest to be the dominant mode for body, mind and spirit. I know how attempting to rest the body without resting the mind can leave us as tired as before. You know, hours of tossing and turning in bed when the mind will not close off! But, resting intensively means making a conscious effort to give your mind with the rest of yourself over to peace. It reminds me of Scripture promises like: "You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts you" (Isa 26:3). Older versions had: "Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee." And this peace is not some suspended fluffy feel-good animation. It is living in maximum harmony with God and his creation by his power.

I have been trying to learn this steadfast, staying peace principle over the last few days. Keeping trust in God's big promises and big picture for me and living wisely by his power. Was my return to teaching on Monday and Tuesday a good idea? Well, perhaps it was a little too soon because I felt old and tired the next couple of days! But, I know it was such a boost to be back with my students and to feel useful again. In fact, sometimes doing something like that addresses the staleness that tiredness brings.

I shall keep getting it wrong. Not keeping the balance between doing, thinking and resting, not resting intensively. Several of you have warned me about rushing back before I should. But I give thanks for encouragements as I enter my fourth week after the operation that resting is working. Thanks for all your caring. I'm on the way.

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