(Holy) Rest by Seth Black

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

– Matthew 11: 28-29

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHey there! My name is Seth Black, and I intern at Hayesville First United Methodist Church. My responsibilities primarily consist of helping out with the worship services on Sunday mornings, hanging out with the youth group Sunday nights, and helping out with the kids program on Wednesday afternoons. It has been such a blessing in my time here at Young Harris.

I wrote about finding a sense of place through this internship in my previous blog post, but I want to write about something a little different this time: the importance of rest.

Being a college student, the idea of rest seems to be a pretty foreign concept. Who needs sleep, right? Personally, when I do not get enough sleep or am overwhelmed with work, it tends to affect every aspect of my life. There have been multiple occasions where I have shown up to the kids program Wednesday afternoon completely drained both physically and mentally, not thinking anything about it. But, what I have found is that the lack of physical and bodily rest contributes to an increasingly restless soul. Focus becomes miniscule, temper becomes short-fused, and positivity is seemingly nonexistent (especially when dealing with first through fourth graders and trying to teach them songs). But the lack of sleep does not necessarily seem to be the problem. You aren’t supposed to get enough sleep every night in college; it is virtually impossible. What is possible, though, is to find rest in the most serene, calming outlet of every day experience: rest from the Spirit.

You see, I have had it backwards this whole time. I felt that I could only be my best spiritual self by seeking physical, impermanent rest for my body and mind first, and then finding rest in God as a result. Even though my eyelids may still fall, and my overall energy might be lacking a bit, when I go to church (or anything else for that matter) recognizing that a restful soul is the first priority, I am able to shine the light of Christ despite my sleeping habits. Finding rest for your body is important. Finding rest for your mind is essential. But, find rest for your soul in the loving nature of Spirit, and all else will fall into place. We are called to have an enlivened heart, but a restful soul is just as vital for a fulfilling, spiritual journey along this path of life. In the midst of overwhelming challenge and endless responsibility, find your rest in the soul.


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