Day 12: Embracing Rest
As I thought about how to approach this post about rest, I was reminded about how much we really need it. Free-time has become an antiquated notion. Do you remember being asked, “so what do you like to do in your free time” at a social function? I have probably just dated myself, but I think this is an important thought. We used to assume that fellow human beings had alloted “free time”, but now that seems to be wishful thinking.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, expectations of our response to contact; either by phone, texts, emails, etc. is almost instantaneous now. Multi-tasking is a word that is so overused that is almost seems passe and just a way of working through the day (even though some research shows that no one can really multitask, but that is a conversation for another time).
So rest and free-time; we don’t automatically have it, we have to schedule it, guard it, demand it. And guess what? Someone or something will have to wait- even if just for a bit (some things that can’t wait, like a hungry child or a sick family member that needs you). Some feel that if you stop and take time to smell the roses, read a book for leisure, take a nap, or just take time for yourself there will be a tidal wave of to-do’s to catch up on post-rest. Of course this may seem extreme, and it may be for a brief rest, but it is very real for those taking just a week-long vacation.
So, how do we embrace rest? Sometimes we just have to take the time, we need to schedule it in, we have to take time to remember that we are human beings, not human doings. We need to understand that we can be more productive with times of rest and rejuvenation built-in. It’s like the instructions on an airplane; you have to give yourself oxygen first, before you can assist others. One final thought is this, when everything becomes urgent, then nothing really is.
I have always loved these few verses that are so well-known about rest for the weary, but I was amazed at how beautiful and amplified they were in the Message.
“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.”
~Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (italics added)