It was 11:45pm and my mind was not a safe place. Our church had just finished a three-day conference and it was only Tuesday. I still had two more work days left, including Wednesday which for me would the 4th 12 plus hour day in a row. Ordinarily, I would go right to bed. I am not a night owl. When 9:30 comes around I expect to be well on my way to sleep. However, for much of the past few days, I hadn’t done any of things I ordinarily do “for me”. The things that give me energy. It was late, but sleep wasn’t my primary need at that time. I needed soul restorative rest, not physical sleep. So I sat quietly for a few minutes, processing the day’s events. I turned off my mind for a short while with a show and I was able to chat with a friend for about half an hour before I finally turned in. I needed rest, but it was a different kind of rest.
My Rhythm had been disrupted and I needed to reclaim soul restoration.
Every day, week, month and season has a rhythm, a cadence through which things progress. There are busier moments and quieter moments. If we let it, the world will drown out our quiet moments and rob us of the “empty space” on our calendar. That space is, for me anyway, the most important part of my day. That is when I can breathe, create, process and connect with God. It is not “less important” because it isn’t productive. Without it, I quickly cease to be my best self during all the “more important” or “productive” times.
I believe every day should have at least one “breathable moment”. A break from the pull to engage. A moment to be you. A moment of solitude. A moment with the Lord. A moment to do something that fills up your soul. What is it that fuels you?
We are all different and find that kind of rest in different ways, for me it includes reading, meditating, praying, walking outside, writing, or even a quality one on one conversation if my social tank is feeling low. (Even introverts need social energy from time to time, just less often and in smaller doses and perhaps smaller crowds.)
Fight to find those breathable moments in your day, week, month and season. No one will make it a priority for you, so love yourself enough to take a break. Cancel a social engagement, turn off social media, disconnect from the world, take a walk outside. Figure out what gives you rest and seize every opportunity to engage in it
I fear in today’s world many have “down time”, but rarely have true rest. Our world keeps us increasingly busy, or at least it keeps our lives loud and disrupted. The constant call of social media and the notifications on our phones keep our mind engaged. I’m convinced that many times it keeps us from actual rest. We need moments where we disconnect from it all and just be. Moments in God’s presence where it is really just us. No agenda. No pressure. No noise. There is something profoundly restorative in prayer that truly is just about being with the Lord.
God is always fully present. How perfect it is when we decide to be fully present as well.