Disconnect. Recharge. Slow down. Focus on being present.
If you’re like me, these are lines you’ve heard from well-meaning friends, authors, speakers, and influencers more times than you can count. I typically acknowledge them, but politely move on to the next activity on my to-do list. Who has time to slow down? We have a laundry list of things that need to get done, right? But after years of half-heartedly giving rest the time it deserves; it finally has my full attention.
We’ve all looked into the eyes of tired friends who have let their lives and schedules get the best of them. I ache for them. I ache because I know the struggle of feeling like you have nothing left to give at the end of a long day. I know what it feels like to lose sight of your purpose. I ache because nobody wants to dig themselves into a hole of emotional, spiritual, and physical depletion, but I think we arrive at this destination more times than we’d like to voice.
Several months ago, my husband and I spent time in a secluded treehouse just outside of Charleston. There was no Wi-Fi, spotty cell phone service and no TV. To some of you, this sounds like a nightmare! For us, it was a peaceful, welcomed dream. I went into our treehouse experience knowing the tech-free details, but had no idea how much God was going to teach me through them.
The silence, stillness, and rest were medicinal; healing my heart and mind in ways I didn’t realize needed healing. My eyes were opened to my deep need for more regular, undistracted down time in everyday life. After entirely too many years of rushing from one activity to the next, I finally understand the richness and power found in prioritizing rest. It’s sacred.
I realize our day to day life requires more from us than just resting – not every day is spent in a treehouse with no Wi-Fi. I get that. But what if little by little, 5 minutes at a time, we begin to prioritize stillness? What if we schedule rest in the same way we schedule working out, going out to dinner or seeing a movie? What if God desperately wants to grow us through stillness?
If we can muster up the courage to give rest our full attention, we will save ourselves the pain of having to climb out of the physical, emotional, and spiritual holes we dig. Stillness has a way of bubbling up fears, but it also has the power to breed clarity and centeredness in spite of our fears. We are broken, but we are loved. For every fear that bubbles up, God has a pointed truth to pop it.
Jesus bravely restored in stillness with the weight of humanity on his shoulders. My hope in sharing this is to encourage you to bravely restore too. I pray you have the courage to prioritize rest in a culture that is always on. Most importantly, I pray that through your brave moments of stillness, you remember your purpose and return to it often.