Some of my musings yesterday were inspired by a lovely little blog I stumbled across yesterday. Unfortunately the woman who kept this blog decided to stop just as I found her, but while digging through her previous posts I found one of her answering a woman who had written to ask how she managed to keep such a lovely and peaceful home and whether her life really was as beautiful as the pictures showed. You can find her answer (and others) here. The one thing that stood out to me though was what she said about rest. Quite honestly that's one thing at which I'm not very good. Even when I'm resting I'm often not "at rest." I end up worrying about what I didn't do or should be doing or could more profitably be doing. Then when I work I often don't enjoy that either and for similar reasons. I can always tell myself that I should have done this yesterday or two weeks ago or that I should have never let things get into such a state and thereby rob myself of all the peaceful satisfaction I could be getting out of doing the job now. I suppose the secret is that our Lord says "come unto me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest." I've heard that verse a hundred times or more, but it never occurred to me to think about what it means to come unto the Lord and how that relates to rest. Obviously the first thing it means is acknowledging to ourselves that we are not self-sufficient and that we are utterly dependent on God. Another thing it means is that we have been forgiven and that we have received grace. A third thing it means is that we have been removed from all condemnation. The Bible says that "there is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus." These are just a few of the things it means to come unto the Lord, and from looking at even that short list it seems that rest, instead of being mystically tacked on at the end, instead flows directly from and through the quality of belonging to God. It really shouldn't be something elusive in our lives that we are constantly in fear of not finding or of losing when we feel we've gained it. It really does seem that it should be a constantly flowing river pouring through our hearts from the heart of God. In day to day terms it means that when I feel upset about not doing something earlier or better I can know that there is no condemnation and feel satisfaction in doing it now. It does seem such an easy thing for us to not do though -I know I have the dickens of a time with being at rest and being satisfied with various things in my life. I suppose this is something I'll have to keep discovering and rediscovering until one day maybe it will finally stick. I want that day to be right now, but I have to remind myself that there's no condemnation about that either.
So it seems that the secret to a well-run and pleasant house isn't so much work but rest and not so much rest but learning to make your work restful and satisfying. Like much of Christian life the answer lies in the heart of a paradox which is the heart of God who made the lion and the lamb and loves them both together.