“I don’t know where to begin with God,” I confess.
She smiles. We sit quietly for a time, and then she opens her Bible and reads,
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
She smiles again. “What would it look like for you to accept God’s invitation to rest today? To trust Him with all of the things we’ve talked about, and just lie down and take a nap?”
"A nap?" I think. "That doesn’t sound very spiritual." Later, I walk over to the cafeteria, and take a bowl of lentil soup. Homemade. As I sit with my soup and salad, I marvel at this gift of food that someone else has prepared. I want to go into the kitchen and hug the women who made it. "When is the last time I sat through an entire meal?" I wonder to myself.
After lunch, I go to my room to complete my only assignment of the day: rest.
It’s harder than I expect it to be. I open my journal and make a list of all of my distractions and concerns. It’s two pages long.
And I find myself back in this familiar place with God: do I trust Him? Can I stop and simply be for an afternoon? Can that really be enough?
I read the verses in Matthew again and thank God for His invitation. The truth is, I am tired.
And so I begin this first afternoon of my journey into solitude and silence with a long nap.