I just read an interesting definition of “Spiritual Rest” in a TED community post.
The post was part of the series: “How to Be a Better Human,” the article entitled
“The 7 Types of Rest That Every Person Needs.”
The words need and rest caught my attention. Knowing many people experience variations in sleep, I wanted to know how the need for rest is met in other ways.
The first needed type of rest is physical, which can be passive like sleeping, or active involving restorative activity to help your body relax and/or stretch. Other types listed are: mental, sensory, creative, emotional, social and spiritual, followed by definitions.
“Spiritual rest is the ability to connect beyond the physical and mental and
feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose.
To receive this, engage in something greater than yourself and
add prayer, meditation or community involvement to your daily routine.”
Is it possible to Be a Better Human, connect “beyond the physical/mental, and engage in something greater than yourself” without the benefit of God or Church? For me personally, there is little hope of Being a Better Human without both.
Many secular suggestions are borrowed ideas from religion. The rest people derive through contact with God and church is spiritual rest. Scientific evidence agrees that these variables: a relationship with God, the practice of prayer and church membership improve the outcome of disease. Come to church and you will find spiritual rest. Your brain and body will feel release as chemical messengers flow through your senses, offering your soul a therapeutic massage.
According to the article, mental rest comes when we slow down thoughts that constantly intrude. Sensory rest comes when we unplug from electronic stimulation. Creative rest comes from appreciating art and nature. Engaging in a time of worship will offer you mental, sensory and creative rest.
The article continued, “Emotional rest means having time and space to freely express your feelings and cut back on pleasing people.” Here’s where churches mess up. Rather than being places where people feel free to be themselves and not please people, churches invite competition.
Pressure to do good works and exhibit nice behavior explains why churches become places of unrest. In order to raise the personal esteem of some, the reputation of others must be diminished. Rest is offered only to those chosen, the insiders.
What attracts or repels depends on whether it’s something we need or not. One thing I’m sure we all need is a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose. Sunday worship, Sunday School, playing or working together does provide spiritual rest. All of them allow us to engage not only in something greater than ourselves but engage with something greater than ourselves (God and God’s mission in the world).
Spiritual rest is the foundation of Being a Better Human. Without spiritual rest, meeting the rest of your needs won’t accomplish much. The effect will be temporary like getting a one-hour massage right before running a bunch of errands. Spiritual rest goes deeper. It can not only change your outlook but how cells function. Other attempts to meet our needs will fail, but God will not.
A deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose are gifts from God.
Churches bring glory to God only to the extent they exist for the benefit of the world and meet deep human need for belonging, love, acceptance and purpose.
Such things are given not earned, like grace. Such things are offered during moments of worship, education and fellowship. Such things are offered by your presence and participation. The Holy Spirit will enable and inspire your purpose.
We believe that the Holy Spirit gathers and sustains the Church for your benefit and the sake of the world. Through it God will provide all needed rest: physical, mental, sensory, creative, emotional, social and spiritual.
We were made for deep connection to God and each other. May God continue to bless and fulfill your needs. It helps us meet our need to be God’s Church: Where all 7 Types of Rest Every Person Needs can be met and you can Become a Better Human. (Even catching a few zzz’s is possible.)
Pastor Nancy Brody
Messiah, Fisherville & St. Peter, Fetterhoff’s