Continued Reflections on Rest  

       “To live for oneself” is a heavy burden, because we all have endless desires and ambitions, which in turn make us restless and troubled. Although we have the words of God as the guiding light, we are still struggling to break free from its control.  Why do we so desire to "live for ourselves"?

         Perhaps the painful awareness of the transience of life fuels our desire to get the most out of it; to see what we want to see, do what we want to do, taste what we want to taste, and fulfill all our hearts’ desire.  To accomplish all these things comes with a heavy cost. Endless labor, sleepless nights, mental burden and physical health are just the few on the list. When death finally comes, by the grace of God, one can barely escape with the soul, even the body has to be left behind. The feeling of “all for nothing” is perhaps the silent outcry of our soul to our misguided life. How can we rest in peace with our soul in turmoil? Therefore, even if we try to rest by doing nothing on the Sabbath day, we are restless inside.

           During those sleepless nights I had, I gave serious thoughts over the vanity of life.  The realization of “all for nothing” brought horror and anxiety to my soul. But this mental trip led me to a deeper and more personal understanding of Jesus words, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)”

          It turns out that our short lives are like that of tourists - whatever lovely things we encounter, we can only take pictures or keep in memories.  We must never try to own them; because they don’t belong to us.  If we try to take them back home, we will be intercepted, fined or even jailed at custom.  ‘The possessions’ will be confiscated. As a result, the gain is not worth the loss!  

          We have to ask ourselves: “O My heart, how may you rest in peace?”  Only Jesus has the answer, because He knows everyone’s heart.  (Continued next week) 

 續上週之「休息」  

       「為自己活」的意念誠然使我們加增了不少負擔和愁苦,使我們無法安息。雖然我們領受神話語的教導之後,懂得不要再為自己活,我們依然無法擺脫它的操控。到底什麼原因,使我們那麼留戀「為自己活」呢?

         或許是我們意識到人生的苦短,就想把握自己有限的日子,幹自己想幹的、看自己想看的、嚐自己想嚐的、擁有自己沒有的,並追求自己的夢想等等。在這麼多的追逐之下,承受勞煩、憂愁、重擔,自然是無可躲避的代價。最後,大限到來,什麼都帶不走。至終,一切努力都是一場「空」。也許正因為我們能夠從死亡的現實下得知結局,我們的心靈無法享安息。「渴慕安息」可能是我們靈魂無聲的呼喊,要喚醒我們錯誤的人生。因此,就算我們在安息日什麼工都不做,不見得我們的心就能享安息。「空虛」的問題一天不解決,我們心靈休得平安!  

           在那些失眠的夜裏,我曾深思「空虛」這個話題。當我認真探討「空虛」的時候,會一時感到迷惘、一時感到驚惶、一時感到無奈、一時又好像看見了曙光。反正我在「空虛」之下走了一圈,纔領會耶穌的教導:愛惜自己生命的,就失喪生命;在這世上恨惡自己生命的,就要保守生命到永生。(約 12:25)  

          原來我們苦短的人生好比過路客;無論我們遇見什麼可愛的事物,都只能拍個照,留個記念;萬萬不能擁有,或曾經擁有;因為一切都屬於別國的。倘若我們想要據爲己有,都會在海關被截查、沒收,甚至被罰款、坐牢。結果,得不償失! 最後,我們要問:我的心啊,你要怎樣纔安息?這個問題,連我們自己也回答不了;只有耶穌能為我們的心解答。因為祂知道萬人的心。    (下週續)