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Lent Day 22: Rest

March 21, 2020 John and Sungshim Loppnow Lent

If you missed the previous posts in this Lent series, you might find it helpful to start with Lent Day 4: Getting Started with Practices.

[UPDATE: 3/23/2020 Added link to Presence and Practice podcast, "Rest during Covid-19 :: Ideas to quiet + A Practice"]

 

This Week's Breath Prayer*

  • Pause, be present to God in this moment, and notice the effect that this prayer has on you. Pray this prayer twice as follows:
  • Breathe IN: "Abba"
  • Breathe OUT 1st time: "I belong to you" -or- "belong"
  • Breathe OUT 2nd time: "WE belong to you" -or- "belong"

*For more detail on this breath prayer, see Lent Day 17: Prayer.

Go Deeper with Rest (optional):

  • Set your Intention to grow your capacity to rest in God’s love. The life-changing information related to COVID-19 comes at us quickly. It demands us to stay alert; it urges us to move into action; it commands us to master our protective skills. The idea of rest - lowering our alertness, slowing down our action, relinquishing our mastery - sounds unrealistic, irresponsible, and even foolish. And yet, we are urged to “make every effort to enter into that rest” in Hebrew 4:11.

    God, who exercised His mastery over the universe during six days, stopped His work and relinquished His mastery to rest. He did this not because He was weary or tired from working, but because it was an expression of who He was; He paused and enjoyed the completion of His creative work.

    The challenge we face is that we rarely experience a sense of completion. Rather, more often than not, we experience a sense of incompletion and lack, which causes us to be in a physiological state of fear and a physical condition of weariness. This makes it almost impossible for us to obey God, by enter into that rest. What we need first is to enter into an honest conversation with God, who sees our weariness with great compassion and restorative power. Listen to Jesus’ initiation of this honest conversation and step by step instruction on how to find rest:

    "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me -watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” - Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

    Let us see the deeper reality where God’s love and power flows in us and through us and never ceases. Real rest begins when we have an honest conversation with God. Real rest is found in the context of real conversation/relationship!

    Ponder on the questions below for your conversation with God:
    • In what area(s) of your life do you seem unable to trust in God’s love where you find your ultimate belonging?
    • In what area(s) of your life do you hear loud voices like these? You better hurry, for there is not enough to go around! You better worry, for you are not good or worthy enough yet! You better be tough, for the world is harsh! You can't stop, or you will fall behind!
    • What keeps you from enjoying the awe and wonder of life?
    • What keeps you from welcoming each morning with gratitude?
    • What keeps you awake at night?
  • Have a conversation with God about your struggle. Share what came to your awareness with God, in a conversational way, and ask Him to help you to hear His voice (My child, you belong to me; You are safe in my hands.) After you share, remember to pause and listen to God’s response.

    “Dear God…”
    “Dear child of mine…”
  • Engage yourself in a posture of rest. When you are finished interacting with God, engage  in a posture of rest by actually entering into stillness. For this process, we will use the key line from Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”
    • What do we do? You are invited to recite the key line from Psalm 46:10, “Be still and Know that I am God” 5 times. Each time the line is recited, the key words are taken away and you will find yourself simply ‘being’ in His presence. For those who desire to enhance this experience, we encourage you to speak the verse in "singsong" (chant) tone; or feel free to create your own song!
    • How to do it? Recite/chant/sing as follows:
      • Be still and know that I am God, (pause)
      • Be still and know that I am, (pause)
      • Be still and know, (pause)
      • Be still, (pause)
      • Be
    • If you desire, linger in the silence.

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    Tags: lent, daily practices

    1 Comments

    Rick on March 21, 2020 9:28am

    This is excellent. Thank you for an effective resource for spiritual/mental health.
    Amidst all the current fear and uncertainty I feel peace as a result of the practices you are teaching us.

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