Written by Kat Goheen
Canada West Mission Centre Co-President
I’m reading about holding environments right now – the idea that what we experience when we’re young influences our experience of trust as we grow. If we find what we need often enough as a youngster, we believe that the universe is benign and helpful. If we don’t, then we try to create a different reality and turn away from what surrounds us. I don’t know what it means about me, but I do tinker a lot! I’m always imagining how things could be better. Perhaps it’s part of growing up around the idea of Zion – God’s kin-dom here on earth.
On Sunday, we meditated on Psalm 139, with those familiar words: “O Lord, you have searched me and known me.” As I settled into silence, I realized that this scripture is all about a present holding environment, in that God knows me intimately, knows everywhere I could possibly go and everything I could do. No matter what, God is present.
This brings an image to mind: you and I are floating on a salty body of water (like the Dead Sea or a float tank) that will effortlessly support our bodies, letting us lay back and relax. Yet we thrash about with our arms and legs, trying to stay vertical, refusing to let go and rest. Here is some wisdom from our church administrator’s handbook that can remind us to follow the rhythm of our lives and participate in life around us rather than managing it all!
BRINGING BALANCE TO LIFE
All life needs a rhythm of rest. There is a rhythm in our waking and the body’s need for sleep. There is a rhythm in the way day dissolves into night and night into morning. There is a rhythm as the active growth of spring and summer is quieted by the necessary dormancy of fall and winter. There is a tidal rhythm, a deep, eternal conversation between the land and the great sea. In our bodies, the heart perceptibly rests after each life-giving beat. The lungs rest between breathing out and inhaling. We have lost this essential rhythm. Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing something—anything—is better than doing nothing. Because of our wish to succeed, to meet these ever-growing expectations, we do not rest. Because we do not rest, we lose our way. We miss the compass points that would show us where to go. We bypass the nourishment that would give us succor. We miss the quiet that would give us wisdom. We miss the joy and love born of effortless delight. Poisoned by the hypnotic belief that good comes only through unceasing, determination and tireless effort, we can never rest. And because we need rest, our lives are in danger.
Sabbath is a gift of God to remind us and give us permission to rest, to bring balance into our lives. Even our dedication to the service of others as ministers, when not balanced with healthy living, can lead to suffering in ourselves, our families, and in the ones we are trying to serve. Even God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). We rest to bring balance to our lives, to see the goodness that God has placed in all creation.
Community of Christ Church Administrator's Handbook
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537