Throughout human history, people have lived with a sense of scarcity. We have the tendency of not being content and happy with what we have. We want to seek and strive for more. Giving in to the temptation that we call “the more game” can lead to a restless soul. We work for more, and we work ourselves to death.
Many studies reveal that people are not getting enough rest, sleep, and relaxation. The rat race in life is wearing us out—–physically, as well as spiritually. We do not have time to commit to a life of simplicity and prayer. We even spend Sundays, the time for rest and thanksgiving to the Lord, on worldly endeavors.
The world is in sync with this human tendency to seek for more. It provides us with sophisticated technology to be more engaged with work. Various communication gadgets bring our work and the “world” to our fingertips. We can communicate all the time, even while walking on the street! However, the irony is we become detached from each other.
We may not realize it, but contemporary society is more pressured than ever before. Today, even children at a tender age learn how to multi-task. They are required to catch up with the latest technology. Many things bombard them at one time. As a result, even children themselves get stressed out.
Everybody seems to be catching up. Everybody seems to be sleep deprived and tired. We are so busy with many things that we forget to work on the values that foster the very foundation of our existence.
It is high time to look at what’s important in life. What we may need is rest.
There is a Gospel story about Jesus telling His disciples, who have just returned from their ministry, to go to a deserted place and rest a while (Mk 6:30-34). Jesus recognized the value of rest and not just work.
To take rest or vacation may be a challenge for us today. Sometimes, even on vacation, we deceive ourselves. We bring our work. We open our computers. We carry our cell phones. We always keep ourselves updated with what’s going on in the world. We monitor the progress of our business. We are still attached to our routines and work. As a result, we often hear of many people saying they want a vacation from their vacation.
When Jesus says to go to the desert to rest, He meant exactly that— – Rest. Desert. A desert is a place where we allow God to speak to us. Many bible stories, including that of Jesus, spending forty days and nights in the wilderness, tell of allowing us the opportunity to connect with God. This opportunity gives direction and the awareness of what matters in life. Often, people who find rest are better able to withstand temptations of worldly allurement.
What is essential to this wilderness experience? The wilderness allows the relationship to grow. We cannot nourish our relationships with our loved ones where there is constant distress. The craziness around us has so much to do with tearing apart our relationships with each other and with God.
We have to go to a quiet place to have a chance to listen to the core of our hearts. That is where God speaks to us. According to Mother Teresa, “In nature we find silence — the trees, flowers, and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon, and the sun move in silence. We cannot find God in noise.”
Cover photo compliments of PEXELS: https://www.pexels.com/