Every scripture is a fountain of wisdom and insight, yet Psalm 23 stands out as a comforting balm for the soul. A staple in both Judaic and Christian teachings, its timeless message transcends denominations and generations. As youngsters, many of us were encouraged to imprint its words onto our hearts. The iconic lines, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul,” speak volumes.
Let’s pause and reflect on the profundity of that second verse, where it mentions, “…he makes me lie down in green pastures.” It doesn’t merely suggest rest—it underscores the importance of mandatory reprieve. God, in God’s infinite wisdom, understands the intricate designs of our beings. God recognizes our tendencies to relentlessly push beyond our limits, sometimes to the brink of exhaustion. Yet, in God’s grace, God nudges us, coaxing us into a season of rest, reflection, reset, renewal, rebooting, and most importantly, restoration. Such moments of intentional respite are not signs of weakness but rather a divine prescription for longevity.
Do you recall the days of old, where the gentle voice of a parent or guardian would chide, “Go somewhere and sit down,” or “It’s time for a nap?” Such simple directives weren’t just about physical rest but also about the soul’s rejuvenation. In our current times, where the hustle is glorified and rest is often equated with laziness, we must relearn the sacredness of slowing down. This summer, I’m consciously choosing to heed that call. I’m embracing the moments of stillness, allowing my spirit to be restored, refreshed, and renewed. And I urge each one of you to do the same.
The beauty of rest is that it isn’t an endpoint. After every period of renewal, we emerge stronger, brimming with fresh energy, ready to tackle life’s challenges with renewed vigor and a heart full of gratitude. So, as the sun casts its golden hue and summer winds down, I pray that you bask in the warmth, lie down in your metaphorical green pastures, and allow the Shepherd to restore your soul.
On that note, I’d like to extend an invitation to each of you. As we understand the significance of rest and renewal, it’s crucial to delve deeper and share in collective wisdom. I invite you to register for The Longevity Gathering, taking place from October 5th-7th in Perth, Amboy, NJ. Let’s come together for a time of learning and encouragement, understanding the essence of longevity not just as a lifespan, but as a rich, fulfilling life journey.
Say yes to rest and embrace longevity. Register today at www.longevitygathering.org, and be a part of this transformative gathering. I look forward to seeing you there.
In God’s Grace and Love,
Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr.