Thursday, November 7, 2013

Too Busy To Rest

When was the last time you set aside a day to do nothing?  No, being home sick in bed doesn’t count.  I mean an honest to goodness day to do whatever your heart desires, NOT what’s on your To Do List.

If you’re like me it was probably a long time ago.  Sure, there are good intentions, but somehow obligations or things that HAVE to get done get in the way.  Sound familiar?

I’m a disciplined person.  I make schedules and set goals for things I want to accomplish on the weekend.  My plan is always to work hard and get everything on the list done right away and then relax and enjoy the weekend.

But either the list is too long…or the weekend is too short.  Either way Sunday evening finds me frustrated, dashing around trying to finish the last few things on the list, instead of relaxing in a hot tub doing my nails.

You’d think I’d learn, but…I don’t!  Lately I’ve been getting a lot of messages about the busyness of life.

Recently a friend and I toured a Japanese garden.  At the entrance to the
garden lies a “tripping stone”.  It’s a roughly finished stone purposefully set into the walkway.  All who enter the garden are forced to walk over this stone.  We asked why.

The rough, pitted finish on the stone forces the visitor to walk slowly over it, in order to avoid tripping as they enter the garden.  When you slow down you become more aware of your surroundings, allowing you to appreciate the serenity of the garden.

Wouldn’t it be good if tripping stones were laid across our paths throughout the day, forcing us to slow down and notice life?

Our women’s study group is reading Mark Buchanan’s book, “The Rest of God – Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath”. 

Here’s an interesting story…

I leave the office half an hour late, rush home, cook and inhale dinner, rush out the door crunching a Gaviscon and clutching a tea to arrive at a study on the REST of God…half an hour late.  How ironic is that!
I’m afraid I identify with one of Buchanan’s comments just a little too much,
“When we get too busy, everything becomes either a trudge or a scramble, the doldrums or sheer mayhem…We just want to be left alone…When we lose concern for friendship, for truth and beauty and goodness…when we hear news of trouble among our neighbours and our first thought is that we hope it isn’t going to involve us…when we must meet the situation with genuine, heartfelt compassion, wisdom, courage – and nothing’s there, only grim resignation and a dull resentment that we got dragged into this…we’re too busy.”  Page 48

Here’s the sad part, I know what he’s talking about.  And I know I’ve come to this point by my own doing, through self-imposed expectations and obligations.  What about you?

Why don’t we allow ourselves a Sabbath rest?  Instead of pushing to the point of exhaustion let’s slow down and take a day to rest, to relax, to pamper, to renew, to do whatever brings joy. 

My goal over the next few months is to give myself a day off from busyness.  What about you?  Do you need a day of rest?  Set aside that time now and don’t compromise.  Make it happen.

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