I Rest in God

by Robert Perry

Our need for rest goes very deep. Who does not look forward to a peaceful rest? Even more important than rest of the body, however, is rest of the mind. Who of us does not yearn for rest from our cares and anxieties, our sense of burden, and our crippling fears? While rest of the body is easily arranged, we can search for rest of the mind our whole lives and never find it.

A Course in Miracles provides a wonderful method for finding rest of the mind. It asks us to repeat this simple phrase: "I rest in God" (W-pI.120.1). I have repeated this sentence for years and used it as a focus for meditation, but only recently did I ask myself why it seems to work so well.

To begin with, "I rest in God" taps into our deep desire for true rest of the mind, our longing for a state in which we are totally at peace, without a care in the world, free of all worries, with no burdens to shoulder, and no dark clouds looming on the horizon.

We associate that kind of rest with being inside a truly safe place. I can recall as a child having fantasies of napping inside a deep cave. Psychologists speak of the peace and security that infants experience inside the womb. If rest is associated with being in a safe place, what could be more restful than being in God? The Course speaks of us being surrounded by His Love, "forever still, forever gentle and forever safe" (W-pII.272.1) It speaks of all our sorrows ending in His embrace (W-pII.317.2). It speaks of a resting place in which "the still infinity of endless peace surrounds you gently in its soft embrace" (T-29.V.2).

Sunk deep in God we would be far removed from all those storms which buffet our anxious, restless mind. "You rest in God, and while the world is torn by winds of hate your rest remains completely undisturbed" (W-pI.109.4). This would be true sanctuary, a word which means both a sacred or holy place, and a place of refuge and protection. In such a safe and sacred temple our minds would truly be at rest.

The Course teaches that this sanctuary exists deep inside every one of us, and that we can actually live in this place even while the storms of the world rage around us. How can we do so? One way is simply by frequently repeating the line "I rest in God," slowly, imagining that it really is true. You might also want to take this a step further. Close your eyes, quiet your mind, and try to feel yourself sinking down and inward, away from all the outer commotion, toward that deep sanctuary in your mind. Focus only on moving toward that place. If distracting thoughts arise, repeat "I rest in God" and return your focus to sinking toward that holy sanctuary, where true, deep rest awaits you.

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