Today I rest.
It’s been a busy two weeks. For the past 10 days we have hosted various out-of-town guests…all of who we love. It has been wonderful but as you know, it can also be exhausting. There’s been lots of driving, lots of going out, lots of planning, and lots of golf. I know, poor us, right? But, my body and my brain are saying “We need rest.” So today, I rest.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in exhaustion levels. Many of us either recently had Spring Break or are currently on it. But how many of you actually took a break on Spring Break and how many packed up the kids and stressfully travelled, did some spring cleaning, or worked right through the break?
In today’s world of overachieving and staying forever busy, unplugging from life can be hard, even when handed a break. Our phones keep us plugged in 24-7. We have calendars on them, calendars at home, calendars for our calendars. It wears us down.
We ask each other, “How are you?” and the answer is often “Busy.” It’s like we think of being busy as a badge of honor and if we’re not busy, we’re lazy or unambitious. But forever busyness wears us out and can be destructive and even counterproductive. As my blogging friend Courtney at Be More with Less states, “Good work doesn’t come from someone who is overworked and the sleep deprived have trouble making good decisions.” Neither sound like anyone I want to be.
Today, I want to be that person who reads the Sunday paper in one sitting and maybe after just sit and read my book. I may even take a bath. I want to take time to renew and refresh so come Monday, I’m ready to take on the week.
Today is the day God commands us to rest. He created the universe in six days and even He then rested. We need rest to have energy, passion, and joy. Pastor Phil Restor calls rest a physical activity that has emotional benefits but just as it’s sometimes challenging to put exercise into our daily lives, it can be equally challenging to allow ourselves to rest. There is constant pressure to be doing, but the more we do, the more drained we get.
Restor recently challenged his readers to “give up busyness” and warned that busyness doesn’t always translate into effectiveness and that there’s nothing wrong with checking out. You need look no further than Mary and Martha to demonstrate this. When Jesus visited the two sisters, Mary sat listening intently to our Lord while Martha was too busy preparing things for Him. She missed out and Jesus called her on it.
How many times have you missed out on what really matters because you were too busy doing things that really don’t matter and aren’t necessary?
I’m raising my hand.
I’m a “to do list” girl.
I’m forever making lists and feeling accomplished when I check something off.
These lists keep me organized and on task, but every now and then I need to put those lists away and instead lyst to do nothing.
We must remind ourselves that no matter how much we get done during any given day, there is always going to be unfinished tasks. We never actually get everything done so why stress ourselves out by always being on the go? Even when we reach the end of the ultimate to do list of life, there will be things we leave unfinished. Maybe instead of focusing on our lists, we should be focusing on our lives.
Start by stopping. Stop committing to so much and make time for priorities instead. Do what you like to do, not what others like to do. How many times has someone asked you to do something but you reply, “I can’t, I have too many things to do.” Overcommitment is a societal epidemic and it is unsustainable. We falsely believe everything on our lists is dependent on us. We feel important when we are busy but often have no time to do the things that feed our souls. We must start choosing wisely.
I recently posted that quote on Instagram and got a ton of likes. Wake up call people. Busy, tired people. We can choose who we associate with. Do the people you associate with wear you down or lift you up? Do your daily tasks energize you or exhaust you? Perhaps not totally, but we can choose who we allow into our lives and what we do.
Today, just for one day, I’m saying no. No to “do you want to….” and “I need to….” I’m choosing to unwind and stop. Just stop. And breathe. Wanna join me?