Thursday, April 18, 2013

On that Note: Rest

All ready for our mama-daughter symphony date
Oh yes, you may have seen this shirt in an earlier post this week. It is my new favorite.
Kind of like the race t-shirt that showed up in all my summer pictures last year.=)

One Thursday evening LC and I attended a rehearsal of our local symphony. We were both really stoked to go. We have brought been able to bring each of the boys to a real concert, but LC hadn't had a chance as yet. 

I couldn't wait to introduce her to the sights and sounds of a live symphony.

We decided to get dressed up, go to Panera Bread for dinner, and then head over to the performance hall to watch the show.

The music was awesome. It was the day before the real deal, so they were mostly working out the final kinks. There was an expressive guest conductor from Mexico. And all the selections were Latin in flavor. 

LC was entranced and so was I.

But, what I took away from the rehearsal was not all musical in character.

If you have ever done anything musical, you probably have seen this symbol. It is a quarter rest, which corresponds with the quarter note. Instead of a new note being played on this beat, there is a rest. Not a hold. No sound.

There are rest signs for all the notes-eighths, quarters, halves and wholes.

You learn to not play them in your music lessons. But, I wonder if you can experience their full nuances until you have heard a full symphony playing a piece of music? 

Music, a sudden stop and pause, more music. Just a tiny pause, all told. But so effective. It adds drama and distinction. 

The funny thing is, when you are just playing a piece of music on your own, say a hymn or something, the urge is to fill in that rest with some sort of improvisation. To not really rest. 

But when the whole symphony orchestra halts for that beat, the affect is truly amazing. Rests are essential to the beauty of the piece. Essential. They enhance it. 

A note in music gains from the silences on either side. Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh

What was the non-musical lesson I came away with?

Rests are important. Life rests are just as important as musical rests. I know, I know...I have been writing a lot about this lately. 

(I think I should clarify that though I have written a lot about rest lately, and what that is looking like in my life, I don't want anyone to get the picture that I am so harried I am ready for the asylum. That if I don't get a break I am going to break. I am simply learning an important life lesson. You get to keep hearing about it, because God isn't through talking to me about it.)

Rests are essential in our lives. It is essential for everything to grind to a halt. To do nothing. Rests enhance our lives. 

We are busy with all kinds of things. Our days are filled not only with trivial pursuits, but important things. Important people, important activities. Ministering. Doing the work God called us to do. 

How much more meaningful would these activities be, if we couched them in periods of rest? How much deeper would our interactions with people be, if we weren't focused on getting to the next thing on our calendar or checklist? What if we took time to stop and listen and rest and pause? Physical rest. Spiritual rest. Mental rest.

A lot of the Psalms have a rest built in. Did you know that? It is the word selah. It means to stop and ponder what you just read.

I am learning the beauty of rest in my life. I am learning how essential it is. And how it makes my life fuller. I am learning to find daily rest at the feet of Jesus. And to seek out extended breaks from the daily hustle and bustle. To recharge and refresh in prolonged rests from the sprint and marathon periods of service to the Lord. 

"Come unto Me all you who are labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden in light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

A weary and burdened, laboring,  believer's source of rest is Jesus. Come to me.

How have you heard and answered the call to rest lately? Have you found your burden to be lighter?