I was sick this weekend. And I was forced to rest more than I normally would. Which is a good thing. But then I thought, why don’t I do this every week? Why do I feel like I have to cram so many things in my weekend? Somehow I think more necessarily translates to fuller.
And so I’ve been thinking about rest. How rest is a gift. A very gracious gift by our Creator, who knows us so well to anticipate a need to build in a day for rest.
But what is rest? What does it mean to rest?
Before, I viewed rest, particularly the practice of observing the Sabbath in the Christian tradition, as reserving a day for spiritual rest. It’s a day when most Christians gather together in one place and affirm their collective faith in God through songs and reading of God’s word and sharing of food and stories. But to be quite honest, my experience of this as of late has not been, well, restful, physically or emotionally. My family hurries to make it at 10 am, meanwhile I worry that my little toddler is missing her usual naptime. Our church is also a pretty small church that meets in a pizza joint where we share a yummy meal of pizza and salad afterwards, and being the extreme introvert that I am, I am just too darn tired and exhausted to socialize, after having an entire week of constantly extroverting my energies to keep up with my little Energizer Bunny girl. My experience of church has totally changed after becoming a mother.
So today I skipped church. And perhaps because I am sick, I feel much rested than had I gone instead. But I was wondering if there was another reason.
I realize that rest means different things to different people. And depending on our season in life, rest can look totally different from what we are used to.
As a stay-at-home mom who is always “on” what it feels like 24/7 a day, rest for me right now means having time completely alone to myself. This kind of rest is simply as essential to me as air. The kind of rest that I am oh so enjoying right now. I am in bed while writing this post, with my heart still and my soul grateful for all that is Life. I rest in the solitude and in the quiet. In this state, I am able to rest my whole self – body, mind, soul and heart.
I don’t have a neat conclusion for today’s post. It’s a wondering and wandering sort of day for me. Because that’s what resting does to you – it makes space for all that wonderful kind of openness so we can perceive things a little differently, perhaps with more clarity than what we’ve hoped for. And it makes you want to hold on to this Rest, to this Quiet and Strength you desperately need. But you let go, trusting that It will be there again, another day.