This is the summer of stopping. Resting. Being still. After getting married, ending the semester, going on vacation, and all the planning, stress, and energy that went into those 3 things, I suddenly have nothing to do. I’m not taking classes this summer. I’m not working. I’m not planning a big, life-changing event. I’m just being.
And let me tell you, I’m learning a few things about resting:
- It’s uncomfortable.
- It’s way harder than it sounds/looks.
- I feel guilty for not being busy.
- I suck at it.
I’m good at multi-tasking. Getting a lot of things done really quickly. Being productive. Moving. I’m not good at the opposite of all those: being present to a single task, delighting in doing something slowly, not “doing anything,” being still.
In our culture, it’s shameful not to have a job, to be “lazy,” to be unproductive. I’ve bought into that. I feel anxious when I’m doing “nothing”. But something our culture didn’t teach me, is how to to rest. Throughout the Bible God tells people to rest (God even starts it off by taking some time off after creating the whole humongous world. Talk about needing a break!). God asks the people of Israel to work rest into their very rhythm and way of being. God wants the land to rest, the animals, and all of creation to remember to be.
Now, I don’t think God is advocating for quitting our jobs, giving up chores, and starting to live off of Kentucky Fried Chicken. However, I do think that we (I) can learn something from a rhythm of rest. Even though I don’t like it, feel guilty, and sometimes think I’m going stir-crazy, I think it’s good for me. Rest helps me:
- Be present.
- Appreciate the details and intricacies of life.
- Let my body sleep, heal, and slow down.
- Be more attentive to the people I encounter.
That’s not so bad.
How are you living into a rhythm of rest? What does Sabbath look like to you?