By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
I remember the days of my youth, when summertime meant freedom; freedom from schoolwork and busy schedules, freedom for rest and relaxation. I remember waking up with nothing on my schedule but calling up my neighbor and inviting her to go outside and play. I remember spending hours lying down on our driveway, staring at the clouds in the sky, watching as they formed recognizable silhouettes that slowly drifted away. We would come up with all sorts of games and just enjoy spending time together with friends. Those were the days!
Summertime now is much different. As a mother in charge of others, I don’t get to wake up with nothing to do but play, even in July. Yet, the need for rest is still there. I was hoping we could escape to the mountains for a couple of weeks this summer, but so far, we have not been able to get away. As the weeks pass on by and the “Back to School” ads start to popup, I catch a restlessness creeping in; the thought that I will not get the rest I desire. What amazes me is that, when I remember watching the clouds go by, when I place myself in that moment of my childhood, I feel peace, and my weary soul finds rest. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). The peace I feel points to the reality that there was something greater than some random clouds on a summer day, and through the gift of memory, the grace of that moment is available to me today.
“Come away to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mk 6:31). We might not always be able to go physically to a deserted place (as much as we would often love to!), but we can always enter into our inner room, deserted from all external influences, and rest a while. It is in this place where God will speak to our hearts and will remind us of all the moments of grace available to us. He is the Alpha and the Omega; in Him there is no time. In that place the silhouettes of our burdens will disappear like the clouds, and the sun will shine through. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).