MEN AT REST

When we travel by road and cross places where repair work is being done, we normally see the sign “CAUTION. MEN AT WORK”, but we never come across a sign that says “TAKE CARE. MEN AT REST”. Probably the only place we can expect to see something similar is at a cemetery, as an epitaph!

In the fast-paced activity-prone, post-modern world of today, rest is probably the most neglected and sidelined aspect of life. The word rest is often confused with vacation, which is time allotted by an employer for an employee to not be present at work.

Vacation is defined as taking a break from regular work or routine to relax. The concept of sabbatical leave, popular in the corporate world, is different from vacation and has come to mean a time period in which a person does not report to regular work. It is being given a chance to step back from regular routine to focus on personal enrichment and professional development.

Since the fall, rather than drawing security from a relationship with God, men’s self-esteem has become tied to their jobs and their achievements in the workplace. Retirement blues are real for men as they find it hard to live a life disassociated from work. They are prone to ill health and sudden heart attacks that often prove to be fatal.

Work is from God, but being addicted to work and receiving affirmation from the performing of it is detrimental in all respects. Work and rest were meant to be a rhythm of life rather than each of them being an obsession or as a means to self-worth!

Two pictures from the Bible come to mind when considering the aspect of rest for men – Christ asleep in the bottom of the boat and Jonah asleep in the bottom of the ship!

In both instances, a storm is blowing and the vessels in danger of sinking. Both men were resting in apparent oblivion, unaware of the mayhem surrounding them. Both were conscious and confident of God’s care and protection over their lives, yet not in the same way or manner.

One was resting in the calm confidence of doing God’s will and the perfect stillness of being in the core of His purposes. The other was resting in the stupor of knowing that he was out of His will and slept on in the uncaring indifference that continued disobedience brings.

When woken up, one rises up to take complete control of the situation, while the other finds the answer in passive acquiescence of guilt. One commands the winds and the waves into obedience, while the other quells the raging squall and seas through self-immolation! One would even die in obedience to the purposes of God, while the other would rather die than obey God!

Both brought deliverance and praise to God, but the manner in which they did it says much about how a man can find and be in true rest in contrast to pseudo-rest that disobedience brings!

Jonah’s stubbornness in not yielding to God and Christ’s willingness to submit to Him perfectly portrays the struggle in attaining rest by a man!

Christ shows the way to true rest and restfulness, both as God and man. While on earth He was never anxious, flustered or worried, so much so He could say ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Now, as God and seated on the right hand of the Father, He is waiting patiently for His enemies to become His footstool. Jesus is the perfect example and perfect episode of rest!

The Apostle Paul was also one who walked in this true rest even in the midst of a dangerous storm or when placed in a dungeon. He could encourage his fellow passengers to not despair and sing along with Silas when in a dark place. Daniel and Joseph demonstrate this same rest, even when accused wrongly and thrown into prison.

Scripture declares You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isa 26:3 NIV).

May you our men, fathers, brothers, sons, grandsons as well as mentors and mentees, dwell in the shelter of the Most High so as to find rest in the shadow of the Almighty!

MORNING GLORY

This is my writing station, my morning meditation and prayer closet. Nothing like a few minutes alone each morning. There is something quietening about rising early and sitting down with a cup of coffee in my hand.

The house is silent with only the sounds of peaceful repose wrapping themselves around me. Restfulness seeps into my soul as I sit there in the coolness of the day and greyness of the dawn. Its then I soar into the heavenlies on wings of the morning.

A new insight, a strengthening and a birthing happen – artefacts of the heart and mind!

*I just published my first book and released it online. It is an artefact of the morning!
Point to note: Our FF leader Rochelle has written a recommendation for it!

TEACH US TO PRAY: Decoding the Lord’s Prayer!
https://www.amazon.in/dp/B078HC586X/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_YGVbBbW2ECG2E
*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt © ROCHELLE WISOFF-FIELDS

REVISITING MEMORIES

This stream that provided water for the house was our summer haunt.

Our every waking moment would be spent in the water. Our parents were relieved that we were out of their hair the whole day.

The only time they would get to see us was during meals. They knew we were safe here, without disturbing or being disturbed!

We would hurtle down the stone steps, in a hurry to get to the water. A great place to have fun while being cooled!

All gone now, with the grandparents, buried in dirt & decay. Its a good thing we are selling!

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s photo prompt © Karen Rawson

BUGGED

MAR10TH

Dolon peered over the edge, antennae quivering in the wind of many murmurings.

“We can’t allow her to do this? How dare she marry that, that, that..

“That outcast! How dare he presume to touch her!”

“Calm down. Don’t react openly. We can rectify this.”

“Yes. Let’s agree now. We will invite him home. Then…”

“Shhhh! Even walls can have ears.”

Cautioning each other, they moved on, falsity plastered on their faces.

“We agree. Let’s do what you say. We are willing.”

They rose, with smiling miens and departed.

Dolon fluttered away. He had heard enough.

His intelligence would help prevent.

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt  © Shaktiki Sharma

*Dolon is a Latin American name meaning a trojan spy!

 

THE PASSING YEARS 

A PRAYER ON MY BIRTHDAY 

 Prayer of Anonymous Abbess:

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others.Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.

Amen

Margot Benary-Isbert

German-born children’s author known for her “depictions of humane, realistic characters.”

Benary-Isbert attended the College St. Carolus and the University of Frankfurt. She worked as a secretary at the Museum of Ethnology and Anthropology in Frankfurt, Germany from 1910-1917, when she married Wilhelm Benary. They settled in Erfurt, in East Germany. 

When the Russians took over Germany, she fled to the apartment of a friend in West Germany. In 1948 she wrote Die Arche Noah (The Ark). In 1953 it received a first prize at the New York Herald Tribune’s Spring Book Festival. Post-war Germany became a common theme in most of her works.

In 1952 she moved to the United States, where she was naturalized in 1957 and worked as a writer until her death. She received the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1957 for “Annegret und Cara”.

Most of Benary-Isbert’s books were originally written and published in German; some were later translated into English and published again.
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SHACKLED!

DEC1ST.jpg

Kezia, did you hear the news?

What news, Andrea?

Our favorite book is being made into a film!

Really? Are they truly making it into a movie?

Yeah. I just can’t wait to see it!

I only hope they are true to the book. The book was so fabulous and out of the box!

Yeah. Too often the film disappoints as it fails to capture the essence of the book.

Exactly. Just witness the recent remakes of films based on certain books!

Yeah. They changed the whole plot and that was such a big letdown!

Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

shack

https://youtu.be/CL0yUbSS5Eg

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Jan Wayne Fields