After having burned the proverbial candle at both ends for the past five weekends, I finally allowed myself to have a day of shameless, unadulterated rest. Allow me to explain:
For the past five weeks or so, I have been involved in a fairly intensive training programs on Saturdays and Sundays (eight hours per day, sixteen hours per weekend). I enjoyed the training and learned a lot, but that schedule – never mind the attendant research and homework assignments – will knock the wind out of anyone. I made an effort to keep my Fridays clear during this time, but inevitably the unplanned and unexpected crept in hour by hour (even though I was able to observe several “Sabbath hours,” as I call them, on Fridays).
This was my first normal weekend in over a month, and I am simply over the moon with delight. After all, I was able to
- Go back to attending church on Saturdays (yes!!);
- Resume volunteering with the kindergarteners during the second service that day;
- Reconnect with friends who attend on Saturdays, including the great people with whom I serve in children’s ministry; and
- Enjoy some “sanctified rest” (my churchy term for sleeping in) on Sundays.
I don’t think I realized how tired I really was until today. I mean, I slept like a log, and did precious little all day. Of course, I read my Bible, and spent some time in peace for contemplation. Also, I listened to some music and enjoyed several wonderful blog posts here on WordPress.
I also stayed in my pajamas until about 4:15 PM. Judge me if you like, but I was tired and there was nowhere that I had to be!
I am accustomed to observing a weekly Sabbath, and because I had only been able to enjoy a partial day of rest for the past several weeks, I felt like I needed to really go slow and simply be still today. As an introvert, such days are delightful.
As I may have mentioned here before, I don’t watch television or listen to the radio, and I also canceled my Netflix last month. Additionally, I have a really ratcheted down my time on Facebook (logging in once every two weeks or so), and I find that I simply enjoy good old fashioned peace and quiet. After all, have you noticed how hard it is to come by stillness in our present today? Everywhere we go, there is noise and activity.
So today, I let myself rest, and did precious little other than listen to music, stretch, shower, and think. Eventually – later in the evening – I left my apartment for the first time to visit a relative, but that was about it.
I will be extremely careful to safeguard my Sabbath in the future – whether it is on a Sunday or a Friday. What is it about our world these days that we so highly value busyness and activity? Why are we so afraid to be quiet and still?
I can only speak for myself, and recognize that I recognize that I am the one who suffers when I fail to allow myself to rest consistently. This past experience with my training reminds me that I certainly can endure a rough schedule, but my body, mind, and spirit also suffer the consequences of this choice. Understand that I do not regret my decision to go through this training, but I do recognize that I need to maintain better (self-managed) boundaries around my rest days in the future.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it is this: God will not force you to rest. However, He will allow you to suffer the consequences of overactivity, and this is what I experienced today. Woo! I envision many,many low-key weekends coming up for myself in the future….
Dear Lord, thank You for this wonderful day of rest. Please forgive me for neglecting to safeguard my rest days in the past; however, I thank You for bringing me through this busy season, and for giving me favor all throughout the training process.
Thanks also for allowing me to resume my normal schedule, and reconnect with friends (and kindergarteners!) I have not seen in some time. 🙂 In Your name I pray, Amen.