Rest

Take time to breathe. Inhale the natural creation around you, exhale the anxiety the fabricated world implants in your soul. Six seconds in, six seconds out. Take at least one day each week for yourself. Take a walk, a hike, go for a ride, or for a row. Enjoy the people you love, and let there be zero doubt possible they know you love them.

I challenge you to take your rest to the next level as often as you feel necessary – but at least once per year – and make it a day to purge your mind. Here’s how it works. Pick a spot; a hammock by a lake, on the sand by the ocean, at the top of a mountain overlooking the range – anywhere secluded and quiet that brings your soul peace. Take a bag lunch. Sit for 8 hours and just listen. If you practice a spiritual faith, bring your text and read. I bring my Bible when I take a silent Sabbath. If you do this, you will notice around hour 4 that your mind finally quiets down and your thoughts clear. That’s how long it takes our brains to flip through all the thoughts that build up and clutter the file storage of our minds. Our brains are not designed for the constant barrage of ideas, suggestions, regrets and accusations today’s culture relentlessly buries us under. Silent rest is the shovel to dig your way out.

El Shaddai is a Hebrew name that helps us understand the nature of God. But El Shaddai is not a word. Rabbinical scholars that study the original Hebrew deduce that El Shaddai is a compilation of words. IF this arrangement is meant to be a name, it would me “the God who knows when to say enough“. Do you feel your soul release as it breathes out that phrase? “Enough“, like a cry for mercy. “Enough“, like a call for grace. “Enough“, like laying down to rest.

Sit. Breathe. Listen.

You have done enough.

You are enough.

REST.

Jonah 3: Breathe

Jonah finally reaches Nineveh and begins warning the people of God’s impending judgement if they do not adjust their priorities and lifestyle decisions. The hard, ruthless community listens to what Jonah has to say, influencing change even up to the king of the country.

You will notice this drawing is much lighter than the first two of this series. I used vine charcoal for this image, leaning on its light, soft characteristics to bring a lighter mood to the image. The original dark page is growing white again, representing the impossible task Jonah was given being fulfilled. The Ninevites were receptive to the words Jonah spoke, initiating the change in the attitude of their hearts. The face on the page seems to have smoke rising from its mouth, replacing the darkness by filling the page to show how the words Jonah spoke affected the society around him.

Concluding Jonah 3, a decree to repent is given and a time of mourning issued, satisfying God and preventing the onslaught of His wrath; but inspiring a very different attitude within Jonah for chapter 4.