Rest Area Ahead

Busy: 1. Being occupied or overly crowded with tasks. 2. Being full of activity.

Rest: 1. To cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

Sabbath: 1. A day of rest and worship and abstinence of work, observed by Christians.

“He said to them, “Here is what the LORD commanded…Tomorrow will be a day of rest. It will be a holy Sabbath day. It will be set apart for the LORD.” Exodus 16:23

Hands up who observes the Sabbath?

Not me.

Hands up who even remembers that it is one of the Ten Commandments? (I had to look it up – it’s number 4!!)

I’m too busy to rest.

I’m too busy to take a whole day off each week to do nothing! Imagine?! A whole day, (24 hours), to spend in rest and prayer and worship! Are you serious?! I don’t have time for that! It sounds ideal. But reality check? I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon!

I noticed recently that whenever I am asked how I am, I usually answer by saying I’m “busy”. Not “good thanks” or “fine”, but “busy”.

I. am. busy.

Thanks though for asking.

Lately my answer “busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy” and “absolutely swamped”.

I know I’m too busy when I can’t remember the last time I took a  day off and did something pleasurable. Or I did nothing at all. Guilt free.

I know I’m too busy when those people closest to me stop asking to spend time with me. Why? They can see I’m too busy and have no time left to give them. Ouch.

I know I’m too busy when I find myself multi-tasking every little thing. For example, when I find myself using eating dinner, ironing Tim’s shirts and talking on the phone at the same time, I’m too busy. Yep, it can be done – I’ve tried it. But it shouldn’t be this way.

I know I’m too busy when I’m consistently more tired when I wake up in the morning than I was when I went to bed. One of the signs of being overloaded is being too tired in the morning. This is a pretty good indication that I haven’t slept and rested well enough during the night. And this is a pretty good sign that I’ve got way too much on my mind.

I know I’m too busy when a new day doesn’t hold some level of excitement and anticipation.

I know I’m too busy when I can’t remember what it feels like to be “caught up” with myself.

Unfortunately, all of this (self-imposed) ‘busy-ness’ means I don’t rest and I’m always tired. As Lysa TerKeurst, author of “Unglued” writes: “…where there is a lack of rest, there is an abundance of stress. And where there is an abundance of stress, there is great potential to become unglued.”

When the rhythm of your soul is survival instead of revival you will become unglued.” (Lysa TerKeurst)

I’ve learned the hard way that when I become too busy, I don’t rest, I get stressed and I reach a point where my life seems to tip sideways and I feel as though everything is about to fall apart under the weight of my ‘important’ commitments. And then I become unglued and out come the emotions, spewing out on the people I love the most, like raw sewerage.

The Bible makes it very clear that once a week I should hit the pause button on my life. And rest. And relax. And recover. And reflect. Once a week I should cease work in order to refresh myself and recover my strength.

It all sounds so easy but I know it’s not. Reading “Unglued”, as part of Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study has reminded me that in this area of my life I need to work on.

It’s time to stop answering everyone with “I’m too busy” and do something about it.

It’s time to stop being apologetic about taking time off and doing nothing.

It’s time to stop feeling guilty for wanting to change my pace, even for just one day.

It’s time to stop thinking about what other people might think about me taking time off.

It’s time to stop feeling embarrassed that others might think I’m being unproductive with my time if I sit and do nothing for a whole day.

Resting and observing the Sabbath isn’t just a practical decision for me to make, it’s a spiritual mandate. Therefore I must stop believing that lie that I’m too busy to rest and find the time, once a week, (every week) to allow my soul to exhale.

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their work, just as God did from His. For the person who has entered God’s rest has also ceased from the weariness and pain of human labors. Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves, striving diligently and making every effort to enter that rest and to know and experience it for ourselves. And let us enjoy that rest.” (Hebrews 4:9-11)

I know this will be a challenge for me but, like Lysa TerKeurst, I am determined to make Sabbath one of the most crucial parts of my imperfect progress.

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10 thoughts on “Rest Area Ahead

  1. Awww Sweet Nicki, I wish I could take some of your chores from your shoulders. Run yourself too ragged and you’ll get sick. My sister does this every Christmas season and every January she gets sick.
    What a wonderful message and reminder.
    Love and hugs,
    Catherine. ❤

      1. And remember, sabbath does NOT have to be on Sunday…..
        Sounds like you had a “little bit of sabbath” when you had hot chocolate with your friends.

        Love you,
        Catherine

  2. I know that years ago Christian actually rested on Sunday, or to my child’s eyes I thought they did. As I have grow older I’ve found real rest hard to come by. The stupid phone always rings or there are those commitments, yes, even those good commitments. Church on Sunday, means I have to get a Sunday School lesson ready. If I go Sunday night, it becomes more time rushing. Wednesday night is another lesson I need to have ready at time. My house work is so far behind I feel I’ll never catch up. On top of that my body is constantly screaming at me. I wish there were a cabin I could go to once a week where no one could reach me. But, life is not like that. I must refuse some of the demands on my life. I must learn that the house isn’t that important. I must learn that I don’t need to make 12 kinds of cookies in triple batches for Christmas. My house dosn’t need to be decorated. God help me live in more peace.

    1. Oh Barbara – imagine a world where we could go off to a cabin for one day a week?!
      And you’re right – you don’t need to keep the house immaculate…and as for triple batches of 12 kinds of cookies! Are you serious woman?!!!! Who does that?
      Bless you as you learn the art of living more in peace.
      Let’s share stories some time about how we have both learned to take our rest time properly.
      God bless
      Love
      Nicki

  3. How do we let ourselves get caught up in that lie? That we have to be BUSY to have VALUE??? Finding permission to allow ourselves time to rest, unwind, renew, refresh, recharge, reinvigorate our body and our spirit shouldn’t be so darn difficult. It’s a Divine Imperative! Thank you, I’m going to join you in making a commitment to observe the Sabbath, and let God work in me! Blessings, sweet sister!
    Karen
    OBS Group Leader

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