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- In our fast-paced lives, we’ve learned there isn’t a lot of room to slow down. Not on the road, not on the corporate ladder, not in the school pick-up line, not in our overly-packed days of get it done.
Yet, there’s supposed to be a season for everything. Even rest. So why do we often equate rest with synonyms better paired with lazy?
I push myself too much. Feel guilty when I don’t. I have this secret fear if I let go for a second, everything I’m juggling will fall and break apart.
But after a while, rest, like sleep, loses its optional status. I have to slow down or I pay the price. My body gets rundown. My mind gets lost in a fog. And inside, I’m drained and empty.
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us, “There’s a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (NIV).
The chapter goes on to say,
“a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
When I read the words heal and mend, that’s when I think of rest. I may not feel broken or in need of mending, but my body and mind can’t run full-speed forever without some physical and emotional wear and tear.
If I took the time to strip off my Super Woman cape long enough to get real, I’d answer yes to every one of the questions below. How about you?
Do you wake up counting the hours until bedtime?
Rush to finish things early in the morning before your energy level plummets below barely registering?
Make mile-long daily lists that always seem to carry over into tomorrow? Or next week?
Dread the beginning of a new day?
Live in a state of perpetual physical, spiritual, or emotional exhaustion?
If you said yes to more of these than you said no, consider what it means to rest. Not retirement-like rest. Just a few hours off here and there. Rainy days spent in. Weekends used for recharging and reconnecting. Nights curled up with a good book and hot tea. A weekend away.
In order to make that happen, you’ll have to let some things go. That’s the hard part. Deciding what to cut. If you’re like me, the thought of letting go is terrifying. There doesn’t seem to be any give in your schedule. No wiggle room for you.
But that’s not true.
At the beginning of the year, I broke my ankle. Due to a mess of unfortunate circumstances, I wasn’t able to walk from January to June. Keeping my schedule wasn’t a choice. I didn’t just drop out of life, life went rushing right past me.
And guess what? My world is still turning.
This will be hard to hear, but consider the idea that your kids don’t need to participate in every event and sign up for every sport. You don’t need to be the volunteer of the year, every year. You don’t have to be everything to everyone all the time.
Don’t plow through your hours and days only to look back in five, ten, or twenty years and wonder what happened to your life. Find a way to slow down. Take a timeout. Be good to yourself. Even if it’s hard.
Do you know what makes it easier for me to rest? Knowing even God took a break.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:1-3).
What makes rest easier for you?Read More