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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rest (06/14/04)

TITLE: Rest and Renewal
By Karen O'Leary
06/19/04

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“Everyone needs a quiet place to renew, to reflect.” The pastor’s eyes shown as he walked down the aisle to minister to his flock. His light reached out to my very soul, and my throat felt full.

There was no way for him to know about my renewing spot and how its restful atmosphere helped me develop a more personal relationship with God. Was it His way of speaking to me? I sat forward, awed.

The pastor went on to discuss how Christians often get caught up in work and accumulating things at the expense of our spiritual well-being. In the rush to cram as much as we can into our days, we often forget the priorities we profess. And God takes a backseat to amassing earthly treasure.

In the weeks that followed, the message got lost. I put in extra hours at work, trying to catch up on some unexpected expenses. I struggled to keep up with house, yard, and garden work, often not sitting down to relax until after nine. Even then, my mind ticked off a list of uncompleted tasks.

Time out! Just as in an out of control game, I needed to regroup and re-establish the goal—a Christ-centered life and get back in step with His plan for me. To effectively reflect and renew, it is important to choose a quiet, restful place free from outside distractions. The chosen site should be a peaceful environment that allows for private meditation and prayer.

***************************************

As I gaze at the wide expanse of a lake or seemingly endless river, I wonder how anyone can deny the existence of God. The sound of the waves slapping against the
shore calms my spirit and gives me inner peace. Drinking in the tranquility, my shoulders relax. A smile replaces my worried furrows. The serenity of the scene whispers to my soul, “It’s all right to rest.”

There, I feel the presence of God as if He were sitting beside me. I talk to Him. I listen. I give control back to Him. I walk away feeling energized and strengthened, more prepared to face the challenges ahead.


Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Bumgarner06/29/04
Well done, and a message we all need to hear and heed.
L.M. Lee06/29/04
good piece.
Phyllis Inniss 06/30/04
"It's all right to rest" We feel God's presence even more during our rest periods. Good article.