I was reflecting on something today as I tried to force myself to calm my mind and body for some much-needed respite.
It occurred to me that I don’t rest well. I am not talking about sleep, although sometimes pain and spasms make even sleep allude me.
I’m talking about days like today where I have a few work items that need to get done but not right this second. I had one phone meeting that was necessary but that’s it. October has been rough and the last two weeks have been especially exhausting so I took most of the day off to “rest.” My husband wisely encouraged it and my body begged for it.
The problem becomes when my mind says “oh you’re taking a rest day. Here are all the wonderful and necessary things you can do with that time.”
Rest does not mean do a bunch of stuff now that you’re not spending time doing other stuff. It means taking a true sabbath. It means stopping and letting your mind, body and spirit heal. It means letting them store up sustenance for the tasks you will face later.
It isn’t enough to simply stop depleting yourself. It isn’t really enough to simply refill your proverbial cup. We need rest to sustain us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We need more than “only just enough to keep us alive.”
So what does that look like? I feel like I should be spending my time in fervent prayer or constant sleep. Neither is necessarily true. I think rest looks different for each person. Yes, seeking God is important but for me, rest means me making the conscious decision to avoid stressors and the triggers that cause the anxiety.
It is only then that I can reflect and discuss with God what changes need to be made. Which changes will mean less depletion, allowing me to focus on what’s really important. It’s after I rest that I’m calm enough to let God in.
What does rest mean to you?