In Alan Fadling’s book “ An unhurried life” he quotes Henri Nouwen’s suggestion that “we live in a culture where our identity is based on how well we do, how much we do, how much we possess and what others say about us”.
In other words how much we earn, where we live, how we dress, what car we drive, what our children do, and such, make up our identity. This then translates to – when seen with the ‘right things’ and acknowledged accordingly, ‘ people like and recognise me, therefore I am valuable!’
A question to ask is, do you find life draining? do you ever feel exhausted? where you want to escape, anywhere, as long as you don't have to do anything?
In Tilden Edwards book ‘ Sabbath Time’ he says “we work from a driven/achievement place, that keeps us in an unsettled position of quiet anxiety, wanting a mind-numbing escape, (eg: retail therapy) which in turn keeps us in a place of constant exhaustion, wanting escape.
Unrest or hurry feels like a never ending series of ‘have to’. I have to achieve this in life, have to do this for the family, for work or for the project or at home.
A few years ago, this is where I was. Working Tribes and Nations 5 days a week, then doing events and markets on weekends, school for the boys, plus soccer and basketball for them, plus keeping the home fires burning smoothly. It felt like an unending whirlwind and my great desire was to move house….why? Because I wanted to get out of the whirlwind. I wanted to stop, I wanted rest. Rest for my body, mind and soul
It took me awhile to understand this and Alan Fadling, in his book “An unhurried life” has certainly helped me change course in life. He says, when we fail to rest, to rest fully in God, as in trusting Him, we behave like slaves. We are driven, acting and doing as if we have no choice, we just do. A lot of times this is sub-conscious, where we have these thoughts built in and we act out of habit (Charles Duhigg ‘ The Power of habit’).
It's when we stop (rest psychically and mentally) - we allow the debris and muck that churns us to come up, then we can slowly and surely work through it.
Tilden Edward’s biblical and life-giving rhythm of sabbath and work is based on a life trusting in God. For him it is the basis of life. To trust God, is to know he has life in hand, which sees work as a given part of life or gift, and rest as a given part of life or gift. This is the place we work form, or rather, do life. We are not driven, nor need to achieve, to do, to be or to go some where. We can focus on where we are in life, where we are placed and the good in it. This allows us to be the person we are, - to be ourselves.
When we are content with who we are…. where we are…. And not live up to false expectations, there is a certain rest that passes understanding, which gives true rest.
Its good to see the global picture and work out how we can join in for the better of our children's world.