Alas I am resting and therefore I am reflecting on rest while actually resting (can you rest in Paris with so much to see and do?) rather than writing about it as I did last year.
Last year I wrote that the word Rest is a verb: To cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep or recover strength (Oxford Dictionary)
And I was right – it is crazy how this one little word can change your day, your week and even your season. Paris does that to you.
I could have written today what I wrote last year – the sentence even looks like I am in Paris - "It was a little under a week ago that I was completely challenged by one of the most talked about topics in church, Rest. I was about halfway to a local cafÃ© to "rest", when I fell into a slight panic."
Back then the drama was that I left my mobile phone at home being charged. Here I am in Paris, Emailing my editor on this same phone and I concur, what would I do without this "thing" - Emails, text, calls and social media. Oh my!
Back then I was very keen to immediately turn the car around to retrieve it. But I was pulled up by the Holy Spirit speaking into my heart in relation to spending time with God, rather than forever fossicking on the mobile.
Yes I am in Paris, and checking out my generation here it's just the same as home in Sydney. Everything it seems is constantly competing for our attention physically, emotionally and spiritually. Surely, this is the one place I should be finding time for a Selah (Pause and Consider) moment although my counterpart generation in Paris is like my peers and I are in Sydney.
I wrote last year that too often I get tired and worn out because I find myself working alone in my strength, rather than the strength we are designed to live within.
Jesus expected us to get tired from time-to-time and put it simply in Matthew 11 verse 28 (NIV), "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" or "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of Grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11 verse 28 - 30 (MSG)
In Sydney I experience the detrimental nature that a lack of rest brings. In Paris, I am almost an observer of myself when in Sydney watching my French counterparts. So I commissioned myself to make a rest period a priority and here I am in Paris!
More than this though, to get away daily (ideally, with the phone turned off) to recharge and slowdown from the inside out. As my phone needs a charge when its battery is running low – Paris has illustrated all to clearly that I'm no different.
Meenal Chandra is a Sydney based writer who understands a love worth giving.
Meenal Chandra's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/meenal-chandra.html