So for those of you who know me, you’ve heard me share that discerning God’s will for my life isn’t my strong suit. I prayed last week to exactly that thought, that He would literally hit me over the head so I could understand His desire for me. As I read through the Bible, I’m struck by God’s voice speaking to men and women, by a burning bush, by great storms and yes by a whale. Has God gotten silent or is the volume in our lives turned up too high to hear Him?
The concept of rest seems pretty simple, shut down your phone, tune out those things that create stress, sleep, journal and even sit down with a book to restore ourselves to sanity. Not surprisingly, vacation and the industries that help or at least sell the concept of replenishing ourselves brings in about $1.5 Trillion per year. Why is it that difficult for us?
For me, the images I see about what the traditional husband/father is which is further cemented by my family growing up. I have this narrative that I can just keep going indefinitely. I’m just trying to be George Banks pre-introduction to Mary Poppins… As though rest, making space for play-time or asking for some downtime somehow strips me of the Y in my chromosomes. I watched my own father work, seemingly sacrifice himself for our families financial well-being and then retreat to his slice of heaven over the weekend. He never asked for anything, just silently went through his days *suffering in silence* as the saying goes. So for years, I just figured that is normal. I *suffered in silence*, stuffed down and repressed healthy urges to rest, relax or even play. I thought I had it figured out, and then I was introduced to recovery and began to understand different ways I *managed* or *numbed* which rarely if ever end well. Certainly for me it didn’t. Now I’m beginning to understand the necessity in rest, in fact the need that my body and spirit require.
Gen 2: 2-3 “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
Thirty-two verses into the Bible, God, my God, my Father, my creator and savior took time to rest. So I think it’s time to remind myself of the importance of rest to take care of myself. Even God took time, even He couldn’t go on in perpetuity. He took time to slow it all down, rest and maybe even take a look at everything He had been up to, why can’t I? I would hope that we can all take some time, make some space to actually have some rest for ourselves. Maybe if I slow down enough, maybe I can have an overdue conversation with God. Check in on the state of my heart. Get a better handle on the condition of my relationship vertically as well as those horizontally.
Over the coming weeks I have goals for myself, and I’m going to be making space for me in the midst of this family time because I’m worth it, and my family deserves the best I’m capable of. We’re all worth it. I pray that you all can find rest, and can find time to reconnect your relationships in all forms, and can be still long enough to hear, see or feel God as you know Him.
Grace and peace