By Emily Donnell
In God alone my soul can find rest and peace—in God, my peace and joy.
Only in God my soul can find its rest- find its rest and peace.
Many of you probably recognize these lyrics from one of the Taizé songs that we sing at The Lutheran Center. The day before this blog was written, a group of LC students and staff gathered at the new building(!) on 16th street to sing and record a few of the Taizé songs. Our voices echoed beautifully in the empty sanctuary, with four-part harmonies resounding off of the dusty cement floors. I was not only in awe of the fantastic acoustics; I was filled with delight because we were worshipping through song in person. We may have all been standing over six feet apart and wearing ridiculous looking, specially designed choir masks, but the occasion was joyous, nonetheless.
The song above, in particular, stood out to me. Throughout the past week, I had heard a lot of people mentioning how they were feeling anxious and overwhelmed. I have been feeling the same way, to be honest. I go to the extreme of feeling swamped with assignments and fast approaching deadlines to feeling guilty for having nothing to do. When I have free time, I find myself filling it by getting ahead on my to-do list. No matter what, there hasn’t really been rest.
During the summer months of quarantine, I didn’t have much to do, and I think that was a blessing in a way. I learned how to be okay sitting by myself and how to be content with my uneventful schedule. For me, it was an unexpected opportunity to focus on the thing that is most important to me: my relationship with God.
Being intentional about making time for God helped me to truly be at peace. I’m not saying that there is no way to relax without intentionally focusing on God, but as a person who still manages to feel anxious about unfinished tasks while at a sporting event or while in a bubble bath, dedicating my free moments to God is a way for me to truly be at peace while still doing something that I feel is productive.
If you’ve been feeling like you don’t know what direction your life is going in, think you are about to have a mental breakdown due to being overworked, or you feel bad about having so much spare time, I encourage you to find time to rest in God. When I’m feeling especially distraught, I pray, “God, hold me,” and imagine myself being sheltered in God’s hands. This week, try to find a way to feel the peace that only God can bring—whether you sing, pray, or read God’s word.