By Pastor Colin Griffiths

Every now and then God provides an experience you didn’t see coming and that was what happened on a visit to the Dr Sun Yat- Sen Classical Chinese garden. We went out of our passion for gardens and came away with way more than we bargained for.

the Dr Sun Yat- sen Classical Chinese garden Is located on Carall Street in Vancouver. It’s a Scholar’s garden inspired by scholar’s garden  in Suzhou China and dates back at least to the Southern Song Dynasty (1126-1279 CE).It is  designed to be a spiritual retreat for contemplation.

The surprise for me was the very real spiritual experience that came from visiting this place. The combination of rocks, water, plants, and architecture create a sense of harmony and restfulness and I became aware of the presence of something more than what I was seeing.

(I suggest checking on Yelp and plan a visit for when it’s not busy to get the full impact)

This was definitely a experience of seeing God’s character revealed in nature like Romans 1:12 says.

It was also  one of those times when you don’t want something to end – if only it was possible to package that restfulness and take it home – and then Jesus words in Matthew 11 came to mind,  I really like how The Message version puts it

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

The restfulness Jesus gives can be found in places like the Dr Sun Yat-Sen garden however it’s not tied to a location. The good news is it can be experienced in any situation as we “

learn the unforced rhythms of grace”

Whatever this day brings, lean into the gift of rest that Jesus gives and allow yourself to be surprised with how God can transform daily tedium into moments of awe.