Resting in the Now and Not Yet

As we journey together, I increasingly appreciate hearing insights from various members of our community. May these thoughts and reflections from Paige Weston bless you as well.  -Renée

On Sunday morning I heard Kevin Hamilton say, “The recovery of rest, the rediscovery of home, is not a project. It is a response to a call, a persistent and dedicated call that is even now at our door. That’s why we observe the week’s seventh day, to remind ourselves that when we experience a vision of the way things should be, we are simply stepping into the reality of God’s finished work at the beginning of the world.” The thing is, I only know I heard him say this, because he was kind enough to send me his speaking notes.
I thought at the time that I’d really heard him. I came home and told Laurence, “Kevin’s teachings light up my brain.” By Sunday evening, talking to Brian Mustain about how much I’d enjoyed the teaching, I couldn’t actually remember what I’d heard.
Why is this idea about “rest” so exciting and so elusive? Why, after nearly forty years of consistent meditation practice, do I still have to learn anew, each day, that squinting my eyes and clenching my teeth and silently begging, “Now! Now!” as if “Now” were my mantra—that none of that actually invites peace to settle upon my thoughts any more quickly?
How many times have I heard the phrase “Now and not yet” to describe God’s kingdom? Have I ever understood it? I parrot the “and,” but what I hear, what I understand, is “but”: “Now BUT not yet.” “Now” and “Not yet” are contradictions, right? I let the tension between them tug me back and forth. I’m in one place, one frame of mind, or I’m in the other. If I exert my will, strain very hard, can I be both places at once? No? Maybe if I strain even harder? Oil and vinegar will mix, but only if I shake the bottle really hard; I have to work at it. I can’t shake this bottle hard enough, though, and I can’t be two places at once, and I can’t tug together two pieces of rope that are bolted to opposite walls. No matter what metaphor I choose, if it’s up to me, I can’t do it. I can’t live in the “and” of “Now and not yet.” I give up.
And in that moment of giving up—just for the moment, because you can bet I’ll forget again and think I have to exert myself—peace settles upon me. A new metaphor wraps itself around me: “Now” is the warp and “Not yet” is the weft. A blanket of peace settles upon me, and I rest.
Bulletin: 10/27
Order of service: 10/27
Sermon: 10/27/19

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