The world we live in is a busy place.
People from all walks of life are hustling and bustling, trying to “produce”, trying to “succeed”, trying to “acquire”.
We have convinced ourselves that we must keep moving, keep working, keep planning, and keep accomplishing in order to be worthwhile.
How many times have you decided to sit down for a little while, only to jump back up in less than five minutes because you feel too unproductive; as though you are “wasting time” by relaxing. The endless to-do list starts trolling through your mind and you just can’t take it anymore. So, you don’t rest.
This is not the Lord’s way. In fact, it is the enemy’s.
Satan would like nothing more than for us to busy ourselves right out of a relationship with God; zooming past all of His blessings, turning our focus and thoughts toward “self” and “things”, and rushing through life so that we never pause to ponder the wonder and glory and generosity of a good and loving God.
God made it very clear to us just how important He thinks it is to “rest” when He made it part of Creation.
His Divine Son echoed its importance when He came to Earth and showed us, by example, the value of going off to a quiet place to pray and rest and be refreshed in the Spirit.
This is why we know that excess busy-ness and never taking time for leisure is a tool of the devil meant to confuse, befuddle, and render us lukewarm in our Faith.
In her book, For the Family’s Sake, author Susan Schaeffer Macaulay writes that it doesn’t matter how old you are, what state-in-life you are in, or whether you are single or married.
We all need to take time for leisure.
As a homeschooling mother and small business owner, my days will become as busy as I allow. It is for this reason, that I have learned to take time for leisure and have done so in ways that you might not expect.
For instance, I find great rest and meditation time in my household chores. I love to pray for each of my children and my husband as I fold their laundry. I enjoy sitting on my bed and watching the children play in the front yard while I attend this task.
Doing dishes is another way that I “go off to pray” for a while during a busy day. I love to hear the water filling in the sink and I enjoy soaking my hands in the warm suds and I lift my mind and heart to God and ponder the mysteries of life. Yes, I do have the luxury of owning a dishwasher, but sometimes I do the dishes by hand “just because”.
Macaulay says that those who enjoy baking, or gardening, or writing, or reading can find respite and refreshment in those activities.
Maybe physical exercise is the way you like to “relax”.
It matters not so much what you do as that you do something in order to find rest in your busy life.
There’s something to be said for those “good ol’ boys” who would take out their frustrations and energies with an ax on a huge pile of wood. The peacefulness and beauty of the great outdoors was sure to be “food for the soul” and the physical act of chopping was good for their bodies, as well.
The same author I mentioned above also tells us in her book that there is value in the ordinary tasks of life and a natural balance and rhythm that occurs if we make time to exchange between work that involves tremendous focus and mental thought and those duties and activities that are more hands-on and “mindless” if-you-will.
How many times have we experienced the fact that performing some sort of physical task or chore will help us release tension or relax our cluttered (or angry) thoughts.
When we allow ourselves time for leisure, we allow ourselves time to “connect” to our Father in heaven, who has been telling us since the beginning of time just how important it is to rest.
Copyright 2011 Judy Dudich