If you know me, you know I have a very hard time sitting still.
(Sorry about that pause. I had to get up and rearrange the furniture before I could type the next sentence.)
Looking back on my life thus far -yes, those long 22 years- I have always defined myself by movement, whether it be through athletics, travel or being involved in activities in my community.
Moving is something I love.
It’s that feeling when you’re taking in a breath of fresh air while running through the park, wiping the sweat off your forehead as your shoes pound the bark-dust trail, flinging bits of wood onto your calves and you think, ‘I’m truly alive!’But the funny thing is, you eventually come to point where you’ve pushed your “movement-centric” lifestyle too hard and you fall into the inevitable need of rest.
Rest. Now that’s a word I’ve always struggled with.
Since I was little, I’ve detested naps. If I sleep in past 8 am, sometimes I feel like I’ve wasted half the day (which sounds crazy, but it’s true). And the idea of sitting down to have some quiet time has never been my first choice – I’d rather go on a walk or dance or swim around in the pool.
Over the past four years, I’ve driven across the country 5 times, lived in Portland, Oregon Bloomington, Indiana, Florence, Italy and the Czech Republic, and spent holidays with friends and family in seven different states. I’ve lived in eight different houses, apartments and condos and am getting ready to transition into my ninth.
Again, movement, always seems to be etched into my skin.
And then, after moving and shaking and running and wandering, God puts His hand on my shoulder and tells me that I need to slow down.
‘Slow down? But I’m ready to go, God!’
And as I try to pretend that I didn’t hear His call to rest, He is forced to take it to the next level. Whether I like it or not, He kindly plunks me on the couch and I must sit… and think… and reflect.
In these times of stillness, I’m always reminded that rest is essential. God created the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day, He ran a marathon. Whoops, let me get out my Bible and check that. Oh yeah, He took rest.
If God takes rest, then we most certainly need rest. And we need to appreciate rest!
Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
And the truth of the matter is I do get weary. As much as I like to think that I can keep running without stopping, I realize that I will wear myself down if I don’t take the time to recharge.
In all I do, I want to give everything to our Father. When I go to Him and He tells me to rest, I will try to be better about taking Him up on that offer. And better yet, accepting it as a very sweet and precious gift.
So even though it’s Monday and maybe you’re as busy as can be with a full load this week, I hope you accept His rest, too.