I’m not so well today. My family have mostly kept out of my way and I’ve had space and time to rest. Something I’m not very good at I must admit. To me, when I rest, all the crap fighting for my headspace has the chance to overpower me, and keeping busy stops that from happening. I’ve got better at resting in recent years, but still have to make a real effort to talk myself out of filling the space.
We know in the creation story that God rested (Genesis 2:2). We know from the time of Moses that sabbath was held in high importance as a holy day (Exodus 20:8-11). We know Jesus rested, even when the need around him was great (Mark 4:35-40). So why do we find it so hard to rest?
I know there is always a pile of washing to put away, a child who would love a bit of 1:1 time with me away from their sibling, food to prepare, emails to check and corners of my home that probably haven’t had a good clean since we moved in. But I also know in the stillness that comes with rest is where I get to just be with my God, hear Their whispers in my heart, lay myself down and allow Them to nudge one door a little wider open while maybe guiding me to close another. By cultivating this space in the rest, I am more in tune with it in the busyness. I can use my anchoring breath and be at my centre, with God, much quicker and easier if I have been conscientious about resting when I need to in the preceding days.
When I can’t rest? I get anxious and stressed so very easily. I can’t step back out of situations, I get pulled into every distraction, every negative spiral of thoughts. Tiredness dulls my brain, tears threaten, my tongue yearns to lash out at anyone who dare pull me from my inner struggle and present me with yet another of their needs to fulfil. It’s not a fun place to be.
My family have learned that when I need to rest, it’s in their best interests to let me, and you know what, I’ve learned that of them too. If my son needs an extra hour in bed in a morning while he processes facing another day of pandemic life, then fair enough. If my daughter needs to curl up with her headphones on and watch yet another episode of ‘My Little Pony’ (other mind-numbing far too cheerful cartoons are also available!) in order to feel like she’s had some space to herself, great! If having those things mean we can all be kinder and more patient with each other in the time we share together, I call that rest time well spent.
Now, to cook tea …
Peace be with you.