Women in our culture seem to thrive on busyness. Perhaps we wear it like a badge of honor, proud to be doing so many things and helping so many others. Or maybe it comes from a sense of guilt. We see other women scurrying around and involved in everything under the sun, so we thing we need to as well. Or, it could be that our activity level has become so normal, we don’t question why we fall exhausted into bed every night, only to wake up the next morning and keep the demanding pace day after day.
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t take a smarty pants to look around and realize that most women are living at a frantic pace with more on their plates than ever before.
It’s tempting to think the busyness is simply due to a particular season. Whether it is having school-aged children with all the activities, homework and chauffeuring around that goes with them, or taking care of aging parents while also trying to make each of the grandkids’ ballgames. The truth is, every age brings it’s own variety of demands.
In high school it was yearbook deadlines, band practice, and decorating for the prom. In college, it was exams and papers and work. Young Married. Young Children. Each one different, but each one the same in that the expectations feel relentless.
The goal , I’ve discovered, is not to simply survive the gauntlet of exhausting events hoping and waiting for a quieter season of life. It doesn’t exist for most until just before death. Rather, the secret is to force in times of stillness and rest. Walks in the woods and naps on cold winter days. Lingering in pajamas and staring out the window. A cup of coffee on the porch with a good book. It’s a wonderful concept that God Almighty conceived Himself and labeled, “Sabbath Rest.”
All of life will attempt to convince us that we must go, do, acquire, meet needs, and exceed expectations without pause. And if we aren’t careful, we will become enslaved to working. Working for more, working for better, working for approval, and working for happiness.
Its true that God ordained six days for work. But then He ordered rest. We need to practice the discipline of regular times to sit, be still, cease striving and know (remember, contemplate, realize) that He Is God.
We need repeated reminders that we are not the power behind the getting. He powerfully and lovingly gives.
So nap and stare out the window. Instead of calling and texting, spend time in communication with Him. Watch the kids and study how special he made them. Discipline your mind to ponder how great and capable He is at every little thing.
God can accomplish more through one day of rest than we can in a thousand days spent in tireless exertion. Let’s remember to temper our striving with the peaceful moments of trusting and depending on Him.
He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Psalm 127:2
Anita Fulford says
I needed to read this today. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in all the things we have to get done that we forget the need to make time to rest.
Melissa Schlies says
What a good reminder. It is amazing how low rest can get on our priority list when it was one of the first gifts God ever gave us in the sabbath.
Amen! Such a good reminder in this fast-paced culture!
Deborah Hall says
Thank you for this reminder, especially in a season when I feel God calling me to get quiet in many ways. Rest. Psalm 127:2 for sure.
Heather Bock says
Thank you for reminding us to rest. It’s so important to force ourselves, as you say, to rest. It definitely feels like “forcing” since it’s so hard to make it a priority with all the other pressing things in our lives! We need it, though.