Day 76: The art of rest

Sometimes I do really well when I have nothing to do.

Other times, I can hardly manage. I get bored and restless. I begin pacing my room like a caged lion and search tirelessly for something to occupy my mind.

I can read a couple pages of a book. I can work on my writing for a bit. I can even turn on Netflix for an episode. And then I need something else.

Stand up, sit down. Open the refrigerator, close the refrigerator. Really, the process is quite tedious.

I’m the kind of girl who functions best when she has something to do or work around. When I have too much free time absolutely nothing productive ends up getting done. In fact, I think my productivity is hindered by my having too much time to be productive. I work better in a strict time schedule.

This weekend was one of the first ones where I could do whatever I wanted. I had zero plans as I had completed all of my coursework for the present time, and I hadn’t arranged to hang out with anyone. It was time all to myself.

And I was absolutely miserable. Not that I didn’t want to rest, but I couldn’t for the life of me relax.

In a conversation I shared with my mom I confessed my guilt at not doing anything productive.

“I could be working on this…”

“Really, I should go to the gym right now.”

“I know there’s something I need to get done. I just can’t remember.”

She had to stop me in my tracks and say that it was okay for me to rest. There was nothing wrong with me sitting down and doing nothing every once in a while.

I tried that to some avail. I ended up wearing myself out by the internal battle I kept alive all Saturday.

You see, there is an art to resting.

In Genesis 2:2 we see where God set aside a day to rest. Now the kind of rest we see in Scripture does not denote that God was weary or in need of sleep. Instead, it implied that He had stopped working and just was.

In that moment He could appreciate the beauty of His creation, He could dwell on what He had done.

I believe we as the church have lost the art of resting. We have lost the meaning of what it is to truly rest.

When we think of resting, we envision a bed and the humdrum of a TV in the background. We think of a warm day on a beach. A tranquil afternoon in a green field. A good book on a rainy day.

All of those are nice things, but they aren’t the rest we need. A cessation from the business of everyday life won’t rejuvenate your spirit or recuperate a weary soul.

True rest comes in entering into the presence of God in silence. When we silence our hearts, quiet our minds, shut our mouths, and open our ears.

Rest is found in intimacy with the Father. The kind of relationship in which we can just be still and spend time with God.

Not in a hurried five minutes before the next episode of our show starts. Not in between hanging out with our friends or after an assignment when we are mentally brain dead.

But prioritizing time just being in the presence of our Lord. Then we may truly enter into fulfilling rest.

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