Today’s blog comes from Sales Manager, Tara Mulder. She works with groups who are making reservations to use our facilities and enjoy delicious meals during their stay! Tara also cherishes time outside of work when she can use her artistic gifts to create beautiful pieces on canvas! Take a few moments to read her insights about how true rest can benefit her creativity. How do you truly relax and rest?
The Productivity of Rest
Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest. ~Mark Buchanan
A wise friend once posed this question: what is the difference between resting from work and working from rest? A number of theologians and thinkers have explored this question. The first image that came to my mind was crashing on the sofa after a demanding work week. More recovery than rest.
The second image was of my art studio, where my best work flows out after I am rested. Rested physically, yes, but spiritually and emotionally as well. Rested to the point where I feel unrestricted, undistracted, most fully alive. Art for me is a discipline to be practiced regardless of mood, and good work can result even when I am tired and cranky, but my best and most joyful work starts with instinct flowing out of a state of rest. It’s as if I am drawn to music in another room and start dancing toward it before I realize.
What it takes for me to reach that level of “restedness,” is more than a nap, more than a healthy sleep-activity balance. It takes resting in God.
I picture resting in God as being in the palm of his hand, the ultimate recliner. There I am free of want because he provides for me (Acts 14:17). There I am free of worry because he listens to me and guards my heart (Philippians 4:7). There I am free of doubt because he equips me for purpose (2 Timothy 1:9). From this place of rest I can leap up to make art, serve others, and take on all the work and play of life.
Holding on to this state of rest, and knowing when to jump back into God’s palm, takes some practice. Sometimes I work too long and end up running on fumes. Working at Bon Secours Retreat & Conference Center has taught me much about taking time apart with God to rest. Day after day I hear from guests how productive and energizing their time is here. Relaxation is a means rather than an end. I’ve experienced it myself here at the Center. What inspires me the most are retreatants in their 70s and 80s. They are not “resting” on their past service, knowledge, or accomplishments. They know God is not finished with them! Through rest and spiritual direction they continue to seek discernment, to seek God with all their heart, to seek what they need to be most fully alive.
Lord, help me follow in their footsteps!