Busyness, Part 1
How many times have you said or heard someone say “I’m too busy,” or, “I’m just so busy”? Probably too many times to count. I know that I have not only said that numerous times but I have also felt it. Being busy has become a modern commodity. It is trendy to quickly walk to your next appointment or meeting with a coffee in one hand while talking or texting away with a phone on the other hand. It is trendy to leave for work when it is dark and not get home until after dark. To wake up and go to sleep every night going through this cycle of life rushing from one thing to the next. In all of this “busyness” I have to stop and ask, where in all of this are we living life?
I wonder how many of us are going through life without ever really living it.
Now, I have to say that if you are at all feeling guilty, I’ll be the first one to admit I am product of busyness. Ever since I can remember I have been a “busy” gal. There is a long story as to why I kept myself so busy that I won’t share now, but it became an unhealthy cycle in my life. I believe it contributed to the fact that I was always sick and it was the reason I spent too much time at a doctor’s office due to stress. This is all as early as high school.
Why? Why do we do this to ourselves when we don’t have to? I know that for me personally it is a fear of not living up to my fullest potential. That fear causes me to constantly be striving. But the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about how I need to stop striving and instead keep serving (read more here-editor’s letter). I want to challenge you to stop and think about the “why” behind what you do and really get to the root of it so that you can ultimately change it. God constantly wants to be molding and growing us. We just have to be willing to change.
This month we are doing a study on Jesus and I believe He has some very valuable lessons to teach us about “busyness.” We are going to be looking at one of those lessons today. I want to start with the practical lesson Jesus teaches us:
1. Jesus Made Time to Rest
“Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile” (New Living Translation, Mark 6.31).
“Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime” (New Living Translation, John 4.6).
This is such a basic yet powerful lesson. A lot of us are so physically tired and weary and it is due to the simple fact that we don’t take the time to rest. I wonder how many of our lives are one extremely long run-on sentence? We need to learn how to use commas and periods in our lives. There is supernatural strength that God provides us with when doing His work, and even then our physical bodies still need rest. Look at the way God set-up things up. There is night and day: a time to be awake and active, and a time to sleep and rest. This is something that happens on a daily basis because your body needs it. Your physical body needs rest. When was the last time you took some time to rest?
Taking time to rest throughout your day, your week, and your month will provide you with more energy and strength. It will recharge and refresh you.
Some examples of how I have started to incorporate physical rest into my life include: Wednesday evenings my husband goes to a men’s group after church. I have started making that time “me” time or a spa night. I’ll put on a face mask or paint my nails, and watch a movie or a TV show. Those are things I really enjoy doing and this allows me to have a mid-week break. I have also started going on walks after dinner. It helps me unwind, go outside and get some fresh air, and get some exercise. I have also allowed myself more time to relax during the weekends. It sounds crazy but usually my weekends are not for rest and more for getting other work done. I have either started to designate half of each weekend day or one full day to just restingand do things I enjoy.
There are two practical ways to incorporate physical rest into your life:
a) Determine how much rest you need and how often.
It is very important to understand that everybody is different. The amount of rest you need and the amount of time you can go without it is going to vary from others. Do you need to take small breaks throughout your day? Do you need to do it every other day? Whatever it is that you need, do it, and don’t feel guilty about it.
b) Determine what gives you physical rest.
Rest comes in different forms. Figure out what your favorite ways to rest are. Do you like to take naps? Go for walks? Watch TV? Just lay in bed? Make sure it is something that reenergizes your physical body. Find a couple of ways you like to wind down, determine how often you need them, and then plan them throughout your week.
I have found that one of the best ways to incorporate rest into my life is to plan for it. The same way we plan activities in our life, we should schedule in time to rest. Because I have deemed Wednesday “spa night” or “me night” it is more likely to happen than when I think, “Oh, I should rest sometime this weekend.”
Rest is important. So much so that Jesus did it, God did it, and they encourage us to do it. Find time to make rest. You won’t regret it.