This post was inspired by my church’s ongoing sermon series titled Origins. This week the subject focused on rest.
My father once asked me why I always kept myself so busy.
He asked, “Don’t you want to just relax for a second and be bored?”
This was when I was in high school and literally involved in everything, like after school sports and extra curricular activities. Or I’d be away at a friend’s house doing things with her.
I always gave him a look of displeasure, and responded with a smart comment about how “being bored is boring.” He’d laugh it off, but tell me that one day all I’d want is rest, and it may be hard to find.
As I got older, the busyness subsided only a little bit, but I still easily get caught up in constant motion of “doing something” that I do forget to rest.
And sadly, there are times where my soul weeps, asking my brain and body to SLOW DOWN, take that breather, to be still, but it gets overlooked by the burdening agenda made up in my own head.
It’s all relative, if you really think about it. I don’t have to immerse myself in an environment full of busyness. I don’t need to have a “ton of stuff on my plate.” I don’t need to be “so busy.” The world seems to think that if you’re not doing something, there’s obviously something wrong with you. Sitting still is for the lazy, you won’t get far if you do nothing, and people don’t like those who are inactive. This can be applicable to exercising, working at a job, or having a social life.
Resting implies weakness for some reason.
But how wrong is that!? I don’t know when or how resting turned into something so taboo. I mean, we literally do it every night; it’s a natural function of the body.
The Bible even established a Sabbath day where all we literally do is rest. No working, no cooking, no cleaning, no going anywhere, JUST RESTING.
Sometimes I find it hard to wrap my brain around that concept. JUST REST. My thoughts go wild, inquiring, “but how can you rest? There’s so much to be done. You have this, and this, and this…” the endless list of the things I think are important, increasing evermore.
But then, I ignore that nagging thought, and choose REST over busyness. And the best thing happens. My soul breathes. It’s like weight has been lifted off my chest. The pressure dissipates. And I feel REFRESHED.
Resting can come in many forms, too. I used to think that resting meant doing nothing, and yeah, that is one way to do it, but I’ve found a variety of resting methods that brings needed strength.
Sometimes I’ll take a nap (that’s the best kind of rest, haha). Or I’ll turn on some Jesus music and just sit and listen. Sometimes, I’ll spend moments in the Word, rejuvenating my spirit with much-needed Gospel. Or other times I find my peace through writing. My father will be proud of this one, sometimes I literally sit and do nothing (the be bored kind of rest).
Even running has brought me some form of rest. I know, that might be a little weird because I’m exhausting myself at the same time, but when I go on a run, I get to clear my head, enjoy the scenery, and let go of the frustrations that have consumed the fibers of my being.
There are times where my moments of rest are done alone, and other times where I sit with a friend, or friends, and enjoy his, her, or their presence. My best friend and I can spend hours just sitting and talking about every topic under the sun, being there and resting. Sometimes we don’t even have to talk. I love that our friendship is so simple that we don’t have to do something to keep us entertained. #truefriends. This past weekend even, a few good friends of mine just met up and caught up on life. There was no extravagant activity at this get together, just a few hours of pizza eating, bubble tea drinking, and quiet conversation. And I felt amazing after.
And you know, Jesus loves when we choose to rest. Absolutely loves it. He encourages us to come to Him whenever our burdens seem heavy and we are in desperate need of rest (Matt. 11:28). But the first step to receive His rest, is to admit that we need it, and that can be a difficult confession, especially if you’re someone like me who likes to be busy, and have everything under control.
But once I admit that I need the rest, and take the first steps toward it, it is then where I find peace, enjoy the boredom, and revive my tired soul.