Finding Rest in a Hectic World

I originally sat down to write a post about work. I’d been thinking lately about how work is a redemptive activity that God gives us for our good and His glory. I like my work and it’s good for me. We were not meant to live idle lives. But rest is something I overlook sometimes. I’m a very purpose-oriented person. My mantra growing up was “what’s the point?” (and not in a sarcastic or belligerent way, I really did want to understand the purpose behind the things that people were asking of me). And even now, my favorite question is “why?” (you can imagine how much my poor students and husband love this about me). I feel like I have value when I’m too busy to think and sometimes the one-ups-man-ship of the to-do list can be enticing. If you’re not doing at least three things at once, maybe you’re not as useful as I am. There’s little time in my life for true rest.

I envy the elderly southern gentlemen who can sit on their front porch seemingly for hours watching the cars pass. I think “what are they thinking about? How are they being entertained? What is the point?” And yet part of my wishes I could be like that. Wishes I could let my mind and body be at rest.

And I don’t mean rest like sitting down in front of Netflix with a phone in your hand simultaneously watching Food Network and perusing Facebook. I have self-diagnosed adult-onset ADHD, and I credit the smartphone with this. Even down time can be busy if we let it be. How often do we just sit, free of entertainment and open to what God is saying to us?

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I had to dust off this chair before I took the picture; that’s how often it gets used.

I love the story of how God made himself known to Elijah not in a storm, but in a gentle whisper. Sometimes God reveals himself to us in big dramatic ways, and sometimes we only hear him when we stop to listen. The storms in our lives drown out the voice of God and then we wonder why he seems so distant. Are we really listening? Are we really at rest?

When I spent a few weeks at L’abri Fellowship before I got married, I was immersed in a culture that had tea time twice a day (probably as close to living in England as I’ll ever be) and the mantra was “I am here, this is now”. A little hippy, I know, but for the anxious hearts like myself, it was a calming refreshment to my scattered mind. So I seek moments in my life to slow down and be present.

God gave us Sundays so we would remember to be intentional about rest. Does that mean they are always restful days? If you’re like me, probably not, but it is still a gift available to us. By Sunday afternoon, especially if I’ve indulged in a nap, my heart rate is a little slower and my mind a little clearer. For me, creating art is a restful activity that helps me push aside the rush of the world and just be in that moment. Hiking and camping has the same effect on me (for some of you, that might be more fear-inducing than calming). But maybe you find some quiet place, some still moment, to just be.

What are some ways that you embrace rest? What does it look like in your life? Do you want to join me in putting down the smartphone for one day a week to be more present in the moment?

Maybe rest for you is browsing Etsy for new artwork (shameless horn-tuting commences): Birds and Berry Studio

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About birdsandberry

Etsy Seller, Art Enthusiast, Blogger, Jesus Lover, Teacher, Crafter
Image | This entry was posted in Seeing God in all of Life, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Finding Rest in a Hectic World

  1. Jean Opelt says:

    I’d like to join you, yes, Anne. I’m been toying with that idea of smartphone fasting for awhile now. Let’s do it and spend more time staring at the trees and sky and even, oh my, conversing.

    Like

  2. kghocke says:

    Hiking is definitely meditative for me, the majority of time I have in my week to just think is when we hike, usually before dark or after the summit on the way back to the car but it’s also tiring and effortful. Having the summer off I’m hoping to have few days to let myself be okay with not doing anything, even yoga and going to the grocery! (Haha two of my favorites)

    Like

  3. Pingback: What Happens When You Look Beyond the Camera | Birds and Berry Studio

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