“Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, ‘Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’” (Mark 9:5).
When I went hiking with a group of junior high students, we were going up a pretty steep mountain and we were having a hard time finding a place to camp. Finally we came upon an old railroad grade. It was the only flat land we had found. So we tied up our tarps and settled in to sleep. In the middle of the night, it started pouring rain. The rain came right down the side of the mountain, across our flat railroad grade like a river, and straight down the mountain again. We spent together a long sleepless night, fortunately, with a lot of laughter and good humor.
I get Peter.
Can we just stop for a moment and pitch a tent?
In this crazy 4G-speed world can we rest and stay and be?
I’ve been tired lately, Bone tired, Take-a-nap-on-my-lunch-break-cause-I-cannot-keep-my-eyes-open tired. My friends and parishioners have noticed my tiredness and told me to take it easy. So right now I am in the middle of a five day retreat. I am finding restoration. And I am reflecting on being tired.
I think a lot of us are tired: from justice work and daily work, school and jobs and family. The speed is relentless and the expectations are never-ending. I remember making a list of Holiday stressors and writing down, “existence.” Sometimes, just this living wears us out.
Show me the things
That lumber up my heart,
So that it cannot be filled
With your life and power.
What lumbers up my heart?
Lord, show me the logs of attachment and self-criticism, of pettiness and envy, of over-analysis and just pure flight that keep me from filling with your love. Help me, my Jesus, to rely on you. To rest in you. To be wholly in you. Help me to find a little more interior space to be who I am just as you made me, and to be okay with that. I cannot do it without you. I cannot do anything without you.
Peter came down from the mountain. He asked to put up a tent, but he followed Jesus back into the daily healing work of the world. Eventually, he picked up his own cross. I think maybe it is okay to be tired for a while. It is okay to rest. And also I know that the greatest rest will not come to me on my own. Jesus is my rest.