Rest- What Does it Even Mean?

Jul 10, 2021

Rest.  That word brings up all kinds of thoughts and emotions when it is uttered.  For most of us, to be quite honest, it is a foreign concept.  How many of you grew up with Sunday dinners and grandparents’ houses?  I did.  We went to Grandma and Grandpa Bensink’s house and we ate and talked around the table.  Then we went to the living room and sat on the good furniture and read the paper and just relaxed.  Was it our favorite thing as kids?   Not really.  But Grandma and Grandpa understood rest. And Sundays were for rest.

How many of us, when asked how we are doing, answer with some version of busy?  It seemed to get a little better when much of our world was closed down during the pandemic, but it has roared back to grip us even stronger.  And I am guilty as well as i find myself in the busiest season of my life.  Yes, I have too many hobbies.  Yes, writing takes up a good chunk of time.  Yes, having relationships and making sure those are in good shape takes time.  But these are all valuable pursuits that add more to an already full plate.

So how do we rest in the midst of whatever our individual busyness looks like?  Well, you might not want to hear it, but the answer is time.  We need to take a little time.  Time to pause.  Time to breathe.  Time to take life in.  Time to listen.  Time to put the brain on idle.  Time to not be stimulated.  Time to rest.

The good news is simply this- it doesn’t need to be a lot of time.  And you can easily work it into your daily routine.  I shoot for fifteen minutes of quiet and deep breathing and listening each day.  It does not happen nearly every day, but that is my goal.  But even more than that, it is the pause.  Those little quiet moments when you are stuck at a red light.  When you are in line at the grocery store.  When you are waiting for food at a restaurant.  When you are waiting for your dentist or physician to enter the room.

We have a choice in those moments.  Do we grab the phone or do we just breathe and observe the world around us? Do we need to be stimulated in those moments?  Or can we allow our mind to idle a little bit? These are the moments that we will defeat the #falsesenseofurgency and #WINtheNOW.  One moment at a time.  One pause at a time.  Fifteen minutes is great.  But thirty seconds is also great.  Give that mind of yours a rest so it is ready for whatever is next.


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