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Is There Anywhere to Rest?


markdohle

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Is There Anywhere to Rest?

          Sometimes people will say to me statements that will cause me to smile, or if I am tired and struggling, inwardly sigh. There are lots of ideas that we can have that are patently false, but if not looked at too closely can be believed for a while.
          We can expend a lot of effort for instance on getting rich and famous, because it can be believed that famous people are somehow happier and more secure, than those who are not rich and famous. It is all make believe. We all see it if we spend time or waste our time, in being interested in the comings and goings of the rich and famous.
When I was younger and walking around on the Monastery property, I would walk from one place in our woods to another area, for the right spot to be able to sit and be at peace. I never found that place since my restlessness was in my soul.
          People think that to live in a Monastery will automatically bring about peace. Or the fact that living in a community will allow some worries not to be present, and by that fact, will make our lives much easier than for the majority. While there is some truth to that, over all, the human situation that brings with it much suffering cannot be escaped, and in some ways could be worse when certain layers of concern are taken away.
          People in other countries will often think all those who live in the 1st world are rich, and by that fact, happier than those who live in poorer countries. Which for those who live in the USA, or the 1st world countries know to be false. Easier does not mean happier, nor does it mean there is less suffering. Take care of one’s need, and something deeper will rise to the surface, and be quite distressful if not faced and dealt with.
I wish there was a place, something exterior to our own inner lives that would bring peace, contentment, as well as happiness, but it is not there. We can become bored and discontented with whatever we have, or take it for granted.
          All I can say to the good people who talk to me about their lives is that there are times, perhaps the majority of times, when all we can do is pray, trust, and get through the day, and seek at the end of the day, to be a little more loving than when we started. In other words, to always be aware of our need for the grace of God, and that God never deserts us. Now this is not as easy as many think.
          Left to us and our own often compulsive thought process, we can become bitter, angry, and give up on our faith. Our idols of God cannot stand up to reality. Yet our faith can, because we allow ourselves to be led by faith even when the path seems dark, empty, and full of danger. It all passes, but our faith teaches us that the Lord is true to all of us, and merciful.
           Trust is not easy, it takes time to stand up to our own tendencies to fall into despondency, but in the end, we find that when we trust in God, nothing can keep us down, for the Lord does lift us up on Eagles Wings.
          We have to begin, to make acts of faith, to stand up to our own inner chaos and to trust. In doing that, we stand back and observe and find that we are not our inner turmoil, nor are we our angry thoughts, nor our other aspects that want to keep us back. We learn that all things pass except for the love and care of God. When our naïve idols of God drop away, we find that we can truly go forward under any circumstances. Be it joyful times, or times of desolation. The saying “God with us” takes on a deeper meaning than we could think true. -Br.MD

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