Who gives us our proper rest?

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

There should be no doubt as to who gives us our proper rest, or what our true rest really is, etc. Christ said it very clearly.

There are, of course, different ways and kinds of rest. But we should try to have a really good one that is fit to our dignity as persons and children of God. And this kind of rest can only be found in Christ who precisely said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11,28)

It is this rest that takes care of all the aspects of our need for rest—physical, mental, emotional, etc.—integrating them and reinforcing them in their contributions to serve, rather than undermine, our human and Christian dignity.

With this rest, our love for God and for others continues to vibrate. In fact, with this rest, our love for God and for others would grow and would keep on being creative and inventive. With this rest, a certain renewal takes place that would trigger impulses and drive to continue doing good in spite of difficulties.

We need to know what our proper rest really is. Nowadays, people have different and even conflicting ideas about what it is. For some it is purely something physical. For others, it is more on the emotional and psychological side.

There are those who think that resting is doing what they like to do at the moment, enjoying a peaceful moment, sipping a favorite drink. Still others believe it is having the sensation of letting go of something that weighs heavily on their mind and heart. There still are others who think that is about achieving a goal they had set out for themselves.

All of these, of course, have their valid points. But I believe there is still a higher metric that would best define what our proper rest is and that would somehow integrate all these other ideas about rest. And that is whether we manage to be with God at the end of the day— and especially at the end of our life. Resting is when we are fully with God, truly identified with Christ.

With the present temper in the world of rest, recreation and entertainment, we need to develop a very discerning sense of what is truly helpful and healthy, since a lot of ingredients, heady but harmful, actually glut such world.

How many times have I talked with people, both young and old, who, for example, got so addicted to the Internet, or who can’t say no to watching basketball or boxing on TV, that they end up gravely disoriented and even alienated!

They can go to the extent of neglecting their meals and sleep. Worse, they can develop asocial or even anti-social tendencies. Other graver disorders can emerge.

Many are seriously confused as to what it means to rest properly, or what would constitute as good entertainment. They naively pursue their R and R guided at best only by instincts and common sense, when the present environment is filled with complicated predatory elements.

There is a crying need to educate people about the true rest that can only come from being with God. Of course, the big difficulty here is that many people would think that involving God in their search for rest would already compromise their freedom. “What if I am not a God-inclined man? What if I am not a religious person?” some would ask.

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