If busy has become your recurring answer when people ask, “How are you?” maybe it is time to pause and really consider the spiritual rhythm of rest.
I’ll be honest, the concept of “Sabbath” has always been a little hard for me. I love to get things done. I have the most peace in my soul when I am starting projects. I’m pretty sure that’s the opposite of resting. Two years ago, my counselor told me I needed to find time to rest, to stop doing new things and to dwell in the boredom of doing nothing. Mostly for my health. You see…the constant going was causing my body and mind to live in a heightened state of stress. What happened you ask? I lasted about three weeks…
Each of one us is unique. The way we rest is unique too. There is not a perfect format, rule list, or way to practice the rhythm of rest. If you are trying too hard to rest “the right way,” then it’s probably not restoring your soul, mind, and body in the way it’s meant to. Sabbath is not about resting perfectly but resting in the One who is perfect.
In order to extend compassion to others, we must first be compassionate to ourselves. When was the last time you chose rest for yourself?
If your tendency towards rest is like mine, it can be a steep learning curve. Beginning by establishing priorities on time with God, family, and self care. Set boundaries on work and other activities that take more of your time than it should. Set down your phone or other devices. Did you know that every time a notification goes off on your phone, it triggers a minimal fight or flight reflex in your brain, causing a release of stress hormones…
Try turning off your notifications for a small amount of time. You might find that your body is more relaxed. Well, more relaxed after you realize not everyone trying to get a hold of you needs to do so “right now!”
Pursuing the rhythm of rest does not mean jumping in with both feet. Sometimes it’s just finding five minutes of quiet to sit and pray. But, if you are ready, maybe it does mean taking a day a week to focus on spending time with God and your family. To embrace the things that bring your spirit joy and give your body rest. For each one of us, this looks different. Our goal, though, is to find pause in the busyness and find rest in our Savior.
What does that look like for you?
BEGINNING THE WEEK WITH A RHYTHM OF REST
This week, in the midst of continued social distancing and ongoing conflicts, think of resting your ears as a spiritual rhythm of rest. Take some time to sit in a quiet place and write down what you hear—the roar of an airplane overhead, the coo of birds conversing, rain pelting the window, chug of water circulating through the dishwasher. Make a list and notice what you’ve been missing in busyness. Then listen to your heart and wait for God to speak to you. What marvelous things might you hear?