This week’s post is about the imporance of rest for the Creator and for humans. Each Wednesday during Lent we’re featuring a post by Indigenous Spiritual Care Chaplain, Lauren Sanders to support your own spiritual traditions and reflection.
Lauren is a multifaith spiritual care provider, which means her worldview tries to be open-hearted, supportive, and respectful. Her faith traditions that power her caregiving are some combination of Christianity and Indigenous ways of being and doing. Lent is a type of season for certain types of Christians. If your faith tradition doesn’t have a “Lenten Season”, please join us anyway as we journey through this false-spring, where we swing between winter’s finish and not-yet-spring. We are learning how to rediscover our sense of wonderment.
Grab a soft blanket, your favorite beverage, sit in your comfy spot, and take slow, big breaths. Let all the stress, fast movements, pressing issues go…just for a few minutes. Let the Earth turn on its own for a short while. Keep breathing your slow, big breaths. Fill your belly with your breathing.
Now interact with the world around you. What is sparking your curiosity? What around you gives you a sense of awe?
This week’s Lenten principle of wonderment is rest for all of creation. It is hard to maintain a sense of awe if you aren’t rested. Can you name a creature or plant that maintains itself in the same state all day and night or throughout all the days of the year?
Some humans believe in constant productivity, but even machines break down or need rest periods. As my Elders say, “even Creator rested!” Whether it’s called rest, sleep, hibernation, siesta, dormant, recuperating, relaxation, sabbath, or conservation, every living thing needs a break. It could be for any length of time: a few hours, a day, or a season. The important part is that rest needs to be a part of all of our cycles of life.
Rest helps us slow down and feel the rhythms of the living around us. Rest gives us space to appreciate the pauses and changes outside and inside of us. Rest makes us more aware of love, care, and kindness.
Our sacred stories and texts tell us about resting and taking the time to appreciate everything around us, even our hardest moments. Psalm 23 is a six-verse poem that many associate with dying, a scripture that brings soothing in final moments. But this psalm is more than dying solace.
The Creator gives us a place of rest in creation, not to die in, but to be renewed so we can work for justice. The Creator helps us rest and then we feel and accept when God pours love, empowerment, and appreciation into us. It is amazing that God would care so much! But if we were tired and run down, our mind would play tricks on us, telling us that God would never take such thoughtful care of us. We tend to turn away from the Creator’s open arms.
Below is my interpretation of Psalm 23. As you read, let’s spend some time reflecting:
- I wonder what fills you with wonderment.
- I wonder how you rest in creation.
- I wonder where you rediscover a sense of wonder in the words, “Your protective strength and your nurturing support—they give me space to breathe.”
A song by David.
The Holy One is my keeper and caregiver (shepherd);
I will lack nothing.
Giving me a home in green meadows;
Leading me to rest by clean water;
Restoring my soul;
Guiding me along paths of justice
Because that’s God’s name.
Yes, though I will walk through a valley of deepest hopelessness,
No, I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your protective strength and your nurturing support—they give me space to breathe.
For me, you prepare a sacred feast in front of my harassers;
You raise your glass, celebrating and empowering me;
my heart overflows.
Goodness and love-filled-kindness will lean on me, wagging happily
and You open your door with a hug and I jump through
Find all of the Lenten Season Series posts and more on our Ministry Resources page.