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Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. Hebrews 4:1

I need some rest. I can tell because my eye is twitching. My eye twitches like this when I’m overly tired or overwhelmed. Last night I lay in bed and the “to do” list in my head switched on. I stared at the ceiling, eye twitching, mind reeling. I need some rest.

I pushed into the Jesus Prayer– like I do. The eye twitch was distracting. The kid who had crawled into my bed because he didn’t feel well was distracting. The quiet sound of the rain falling on the roof was distracting. Instead of trying to drown out the distraction I sat in it for a while. I let the distraction be there, paying attention to each one, speaking the Jesus Prayer to each distraction that cropped up in my room or my brain or my eye twitch.

It didn’t work. Or maybe it did. I fell asleep eventually.

What kept me up the longest, the thing that pressed in the most in that moment of awake and panic, was the realization that once again I feel lacking on this road toward the Nativity. I lay there with the eye twitch, running the list, rambling the Jesus Prayer until sleep came upon me when I least suspected it. It’s funny how it happens. I only know that I was awake then, a few hours later with the sound of my alarm, ready to hit the ground running once again.

I hit pause. I read the church calendar readings for today. Rest. I fear I have come short of it. I looked up the commentary on the reading, sensing that what the author means by “rest” is more than just taking a day off, laying in bed and binge watching Chopped on Netflix. And, of course, I was right. This “rest in Him” is to be in communion with Him. It’s that “right relationship” with the One who made me, with the One who came into the world to save us sinners, of whom I am first. The day off and the binge-watching sounds attractive, but the rest in Him sounds essential. I re-read the verse a few times.

I need rest. I took a moment to make a spiritual phone call, to gather in again for prayer standing at my icon corner. The list began to run in my head, the eye began to twitch. I feel I am lacking…and then I realize that of course I am, but this is the place in which I’m lacking. Not in the shopping or the cookie making or the holiday party or the travel plans…stop here, pause, breathe and rest in Him. This small action, this small whispering of words, re-alignment of spirit, recognition of the miracle of what is to come in the feast before us, this is powerful. This is essential.

#advent #christmas #prayer #rest #shopping #Christ #nativity #orthodox