The Lord is my pace-setter, I shall not rush,
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals,
He provides me with images of stillness,
which restore my serenity.
He leads me in the ways of efficiency;
through calmness of mind,
and his guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret for his presence is here.
His timelessness, his all-importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity
by anointing my mind with his oils of tranquility,
my cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours,
for I shall walk in the pace of my Lord,
and dwell in his house for ever.
Toki Miyashina, Japanese poet
The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want.
Do not give us rest, Lord
while people are hungry
and we are rich.
As long as justice is a dream
press us on
and do not give us rest.
Do not give us peace, Lord,
while people live in fear
and we are safe.
As long as hatred stifles love
stir us up
and no not give us peace.
Do not give us comfort, Lord,
while people are desperate
and we are well.
As long as lives are lived in pain
and do not give us comfort.
But give us hope to share, O Christ,
hope that disturbs and stirs and shakes,
the hope of Job,
the hope of the lame,
a hope of new life
beyond the pain.
Until all find comfort
Christ, give us hope to share.
Francis Brienen, United Reformed Church, UK
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.
Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
Rejoice in our confident hope.
Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.
Always be eager to practice hospitality.
Blessed Savior, I am not good at resting in the hollow of your hand.
Nothing in my experience has taught me this resting.
I have been taught how to take charge.
I have been taught how to be in control.
But how to rest?
No, I have no models, no paradigms for resting.
That is not exactly right.
Jesus, when you walked among Jerusalem crowds and in the Judean hills,
you pioneered this way of living.
You were always alert and alive.
You lived utterly responsive to the will of the Father.
Manifold demands were placed upon you,
and you still worked in unhurried peace and power.
Help me to walk in your steps.
Teach me to see only what you see,
to say only what you say,
to do only what you do.
Help me, Lord, to work resting and to pray resting.
I ask this in your good and strong name. – Amen
Richard Foster, 1942- , Quaker theologian and author
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
I know, O Lord, and do with all humility acknowledge myself
an object altogether unworthy of your love;
but sure I am, you are an object altogether worthy of mine.
I am not good enough to serve you,
but you have a right to the best service I can pay.
Do then impart to me some of that excellence,
and that shall supply my own want of worth.
Help me to cease from sin according to your will,
that I may be capable of doing you service according to my duty.
Enable me so to guard and govern myself,
so to begin and finish my course that,
when the race of life is run,
I may sleep in peace and rest in you.
Be with me to the end, that my sleep may be rest indeed,
my rest perfect security and that security a blessed eternity.
St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
in whom we live and move and have our being,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
Of your great mercy, forgive us.
Grant us purity of heart and strength of purpose,
that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will,
and no weakness from doing it.
In your light may we see light clearly,
and in your service may we find our perfect freedom,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430, extracted from Confessions
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said,
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”