The other day I woke up, looked in the mirror and realized — I was tired.
I’d had plenty of sleep, though the bags beneath my eyes said otherwise.
But as I studied my face and body, I could feel my insides begging for rest.
My mind needed a rest. The noise needed to pause. I needed to stop.
I could have climbed back in bed, called in sick, cancelled meetings and gone back to sleep. But sleep was not the answer to the fatigue I was experiencing.
Prayer and silence and nature – and a break from technology — that’s what I was craving. So I decided when the week was over, I would say “Yes” to myself, and “No” to a few of the needs of those around me. It has been a few days now, and it’s been wonderful to take rest.
Which reminds me — when I traveled to India for a month last year, “Take rest” was a common phrase the locals used to tell me to get some rest. And there, in India, meditation and rest are paramount.
It’s so easy for me to give too much of myself. It’s always been a flaw of mine
I’ve discovered in recent years that women, especially career-oriented women, are guilty of offering too many yeses, and trying too hard to accomplish too many things at one time.
But God, I’ve learned, doesn’t want us to be worn out and fatigued to the point of exhaustion and isolation. He wants us to be clear-minded and productive and rested, so we can focus on him and how we can better serve his world.
Biblical scripture is clear about working, and even clearer about working hard, early in the morning and maintaining fair and ethical work practices. But he’s also clear about rest.
Part of keeping the Sabbath is promising to take some time for rest of body, mind and soul. And rest, I’ve had to teach myself, doesn’t mean laying on the couch watching television all day, or spending hours on a Sunday afternoon catching up on twelve to fifteen errands.
It means mental, spiritual and physical rest. I believe when God asks us to find time to rest, he wants us to turn off the world and all of its noise and turn to prayer and meditation.
He wants us to ask for help, seek true silence, and thus, clarity of mind.
He wants us to get out into nature, into the sunlight, soaking in the vitamin D we so desperately need for wellness, without dinging and vibrating electronic devices in hand. So I hope you’ll find some time this week to rest your mind and body.
As a woman who needs it, and taken measures to achieve it, I can tell you, it’s helpful. It’s only when we’re recharged and well-rested that we can be a blessing to others.
The other, un-rested you is scary, I promise. I know mine is. A’int nobody got time for that.