Motives. The reasons behind the action. As we say in churchy circles, the “heart” behind it all. And like onions (and ogres, apparently), hearts have layers. At least mine does. Layers and layers of motives. Which reveal layers and layers of needs.
Somewhere beneath getting better at finding rest, beneath being a better member and leader in a faith community context, is the motivation that points to the deeper need. The truth is that I need to remember that I am worth making time for me.
Even now I am fighting the urge to type all manner of disclaimers about my self-esteem being fine. This isn’t about childhood wounds being projected onto a parent-figure God.
It is as simple as this… like everyone who takes seriously the truth that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, I see clearly my sins, my shortcomings. I almost always wish the liturgist would leave me a little more time in that silent personal reflection part of the prayer of confession. I don’t wallow in my sin, but I acknowledge it.
And yet, there are some choices in life that haunt me. Some of them have felt so big, so solid, that it has taken years of continual hammering by God’s chisel of grace to shape them into something I am beginning to recognize as forgiveness.
That ongoing work is why I can say without the shadow of a doubt that grace abounds.
The harder work for me is overcoming the shame that came along with those choices. The shame that behaves more like quicksilver than granite, splitting and sliding out of reach. That has required a different tool, a different kind of trust. It has required me to lay claim to God’s claim on me… at that deepest level. It has required me to hear my name spoken with the deep and unchanging affection of the one who created me. Which requires me to be still.
And if I don’t believe that I am worth the trouble of finding time to rest physically, there is no hope of getting emotional rest, or of resting in the arms of the One in whose eyes I have always been worthy.