Keeping the presence of God in busy times Print
Everyday Faith
Thursday, Sep. 07, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

Everyday Faith column by Julianne Nornberg

Rest has never been something at which I've particularly excelled.

Somehow there is always laundry to be folded, children to be fed, dishes to be washed, and stories to be read.

A parent's job is never done.

And yet, today, I saw just how important rest is.

Amid a busy schedule, somehow my seven-year-old daughter got a full, good night's rest, uninterrupted by nightmares or early-rising siblings.

And the benefit of rest showed -- in the cheerful way she comforted her little brother, in the positive way she politely spoke to strangers, in the thoughtful way she anticipated and completed chores without my asking.

She looked at me with a bright smile. "It is a day from heaven," she said.

And it was.

I was so grateful. Because not every day is "a day from heaven." Tomorrow may be a different story. But I basked today in gratitude for the rest that has provided a memorable and pleasant day free from earthly troubles.

Rest is beneficial

Just as my daughter proved to me, a time of rest can make a world of difference. If this is so, then how much more will all of us children benefit from resting in Our Father.

Jesus himself provided us the example of our need for human rest.

In Mark 6:31, "He said to them, 'Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile.' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat."

How can we possibly work for Our Lord if we do not rest in Him ourselves? If we do not spend some time away in respite, we will not be as productive as He needs us to be.

Slowing down seems counterintuitive during this time of year when school starts and new schedules demand so much. But we must slow down and rest in Our Lord to keep His presence with us and be more productive as we go about our duties and ultimately strive to increase His apostolate.

In the face of new demands, come and rest a while in Jesus. What does that look like?

Maybe it's 15 minutes of prayer or the Rosary before anyone else gets up. Or 15 minutes of spiritual reading along with your morning exercise. Or 15 minutes in front of the Blessed Sacrament before picking up the children from school.

Resting in the Lord

Whatever it is, find time to rest in Our Lord, and He will give you strength, even amid stark challenges and demanding schedules. But you must give Him your precious time.

And in this time-sensitive world, any extra time seems to be simply squeezed out of the day, as we chase around all day and collapse into bed at night.

But let the last words on your lips at night be ones of thanksgiving to Our Lord and the first ones in the morning be of offering to our God. Frame your day with an open heart that has rested first in Our Lord, and you will begin to foster a relationship with God that will allow Him to work through your daily actions.

Pope Benedict XVI said, "Truly we are all capable, we are all called to open ourselves up to this friendship with God, to not leave the hands of God, to not neglect to turn and return to the Lord, speaking with him as if speaking with a friend, knowing well that the Lord really is a true friend of everyone, including those who cannot do great things by themselves."

Every day can be "a day from heaven" if we take the time to start it with and for Our Lord and try to preserve His presence within us as we face the day's challenges.

Resting in God indeed makes all the difference.

Julianne Nornberg, mother of four young children, is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee.