Resolution: Rest

Rest is the space between notes that gives shape to melody and harmony. Without it, a song becomes unrecognizable. When a musician in the orchestra misses a rest, the entire symphony is lost until the rest is recovered. Pushing through won’t help; only a pause in playing can restore the musician’s place in the symphony. Rests are required for two or more to play together.

I think the same is true for my life. Pushing headlong at breakneck speed doesn’t improve my performance and it puts me at odds with everyone else. I can’t add anything meaningful without the pauses, and I certainly can’t play well with others if I’m too busy playing my own part at my own hectic pace.

I don’t think the point of life is to get to the end as quickly as possible, or jamming in as many notes as possible. It’s not how beautiful music is made, and it certainly isn’t how a beautiful life is created. If I want to sing a new song to the Lord, I have to honor the quiet spaces between the notes. Solo or as a single voice in the choir of all God’s creatures, it’s the rest that makes my life a song rather than a noisy cacophony.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Resolution: Rest”

  1. I’ve come to believe that rest–those “pregnant pauses” so-called because they eventually give birth, I suppose–allows for revelation thus I endorse Faulkner: “Clocks slay time…time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.”

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