The moment I’d been looking forward to all day was finally here. I was just sitting back to put my feet up and listen to some soft music when the doorbell rang. It was a repairman, who arrived to install our new hot water heater at JUST the moment I was planning on spending a 10 minute mini-retreat to focus on God’s presence.
I felt exasperated as I answered the door and showed him to the bathroom. Should I wait until the installation was over to take my mini-retreat? Or should I sit down and listen to my soft music anyway, despite hammering, drilling noises in the background?
I went with the “now or never” philosophy and decided to sit down and turn on my music. Even with the noise coming from the bathroom I was somehow able to read a few Bible verses, close my eyes and enjoy God’s presence.
As it turned out I never had another free moment the rest of the day. My kids came in and out of my bedroom, the phone rang, and I had to do errands. Even those brief moments had been a small oasis of rest in my day.
Why I’ve been thinking about REST:
Last week I was at a conference where speakers challenged me to seek a new level of intimacy in my relationship with God. I came home ready to try a baby step commitment: besides my morning quiet time, I want to set aside ten minutes two afternoons a week for time with Jesus.
One of my favorite scriptures is Mark 6:31: “He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’”
Why do I find it find it hard to answer that call?
- Busyness: I’m so used to never ending activity that it takes my mind a while to switch off and quiet down. It’s difficult to sit down for ten minutes after I finish home school before continuing my busy afternoon. My mind races ahead to my agenda. However, a brief time of resting in God’s presence leaves me feeling at peace, loved, and ready for the next thing.
- Guilt: Our productivity oriented culture makes us feel guilty about rest. We feel we should be getting something done. Last Sunday evening, after a busy weekend, I spent a few hours at home doing nothing in particular. I read. I talked to my kids and my husband. It was a great, peaceful start to my week.
When to rest?
Let’s face it. For most cross-cultural servants, Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but it is NOT a day of rest. Last Sunday morning, I prepared worship with my son, baked cheese pastries and opened my home for our fellowship before going to hear a Christian speaker at another church.
Many of us need to schedule other times for rest. When my children were small, we took a day off during the week, but now that I am home schooling, that doesn’t work. I have to think in terms of hours: one evening a week at home, a few hours on an afternoon, a Saturday when I purposely don’t schedule much, 10 minutes to sit down during a busy day.
Rest means different things to different people. I like to:
- Do nothing
- Spend time with God
- Spend time with family or friends
- Reflect and plan
- Create or write
- Take a walk
What is restful for you? When do you find time to do it?