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St Johns Southgate

13 Jul 2017

St Johns Southgate Image

Like many other Melburnians, I recently caught a winter cold. It’s been lingering for a couple of weeks and only since I slowed down and got a couple of nights of solid sleep have I started to turn the corner.

But the slowing down part was hard. Perhaps you can relate. We tend to push ourselves. We try to “soldier on” by popping a few pharmaceutical products and pushing through. But true rest is often what’s needed most.

Resting, or just “being” rather than “doing”, can be quite a challenge. We live in our world where achievement is so important. If you’re not meeting that deadline, getting that promotion, or buying your second investment property, then something just doesn’t feel right. Whether our busyness is unavoidable or self-imposed, it can take its toll on us. This is why stepping back and finding some rest in spirituality can be so helpful.

A spiritual practice that helps you see yourself as having value regardless of your deeds can be incredibly liberating. Finding a higher power that accepts you just because you are rather than what you do is such a gift.

In the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus addressed a crowd of people in Galilee and spoke of how enlightenment and divine wisdom come not from doing, but simply being – even being like an infant.

He would go on to unpack this notion further by expressing how no one knows God except God and that human beings can only know God as he is revealed by Jesus. In other words, you can’t “do” knowing God, you can only “be” – like an infant – and receive God’s love, kindness and compassion.

In a high-pressure world of countless commitments to keep, what a relief it is to take a break in our spiritual lives. What a relief it is to know that with God there is a restful sanctuary where we don’t have to achieve and are valued just the way we are.

If you’re feeling run down this winter, battling the dreaded lurgy, or feeling stressed out at work or home, there is hope. There is a place of true rest, and that place is wherever Jesus is. After all, Jesus said: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest … for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”

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