How would you described your life currently? As you get up in the morning are you feeling active, busy, driven, tired, exhausted, burned out, anxious and overloaded even before your first cup of coffee? Or are you feeling “well-rested”?
“Hurry sickness” seems to have become a way of life with our carburetors set on high, and our gears stuck in overdrive. Our lives tend to run non-stop. I know I am working hard at changing the bad habits I acquired when teaching daily. I call it the “scurry” mode. Most days, I hardly realize I am “scurrying”
Jesus addresses this scurry mode well:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Mat 11:28-32 The Msg
How do we being to discover real rest?
What does a healthy lifestyle include?
According to Dr. Richard A. Swenson, author of Margin, the healthiest lifestyles come with four gears.
- First gear is park for the contemplative, thinking times. This is for rest, renewal and solitude time. This gear helps us recharge our batteries.
- Second gear is low. This is for relationships, for family and friends. This is how we are when we are in the present moment, reading a book to a child or they ask about the death of a pet or God. No hurry here: just quality.
- Third gear is drive. This is our usual gear for work and play. This gear uses lots of energy and it makes us feel productive. We move from place to place quickly
- Fourth gear is overdrive. This gear is reserved for those times that require extra effort, like meeting a deadline, or a doctor with flu season. Unfortunately our culture has gotten us to expect to not shift down from overdrive. For some of us to slow down is unthinkable.
What are 3 areas of real rest?
These three areas make up the totality of real rest. Physical rest is the least important although valuable. Emotional rest becomes even more important. Spiritual rest is the most important, albeit widely neglected rest.
I. Physical Rest – “Are you tired? “
For physical rest, sleep is the clearest area that cannot be violated. For most adults, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 7-9 hours is recommended. In the research on sleep, less or more sleep was found to profoundly impact cognitive abilities and actually lessen productivity. We also fight the cultural urge to be productive and make progress. We must look for ways to teach ourselves it is okay to rest physically.
II. Emotional Rest- “Worn Out?”
Emotional rest comes when we are able to let go of worries, and expectations and work on accepting our realities. We are to enjoy what we have for the day. We wear out our brains from thinking, thinking, thinking. like thoughts running around in our minds like a hamster on a flywheel. If our hearts are full of bitterness or unforgiveness or fighting, we are also worn out. Finding emotional rest comes from a mind that focuses on the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness that Jesus provides.
III. Spiritual Rest- “Burned Out on Religion?”
I love the fact that Jesus addresses the crowd of people directly about being burned out on religion. Seeking Jesus and knowing Him personally can help you recover your life as He says. It’s not about “doing” religion. It’s about “being” in the presence of Jesus and resting at His feet. Taking time to be with Him in the quiet or with a spiritual director who listens with you or worshiping with like-minded people help you take a real rest spiritually.
Which area of rest will give you the most bang for your efforts? Where will you start making changes? How will you begin to find real rest for yourself? I hope you can find some rest for your weariness in these areas.
Taking time for spiritual rest, spiritual listening and remembering our roots is amazing refreshment. He wants us to recover our lives. Spiritual rest is often the most neglected as well. I would love to accompany you on your spiritual journey. Contact me to explore conversations that can transform your heart. Also by this Sunday, April 10th, early bird registration ends for the retreat, Sacred Self Discovery A Woman’s Day Retreat. I hope you’ll take time to come connect with God, with other women and your heart.