I lay on crisp white sand that gives way to my tired body as the last bits of a summer sun warm my skin. The waves are quiet and still, something I long to be. September brought a two-week long bought of food poisoning, the death of a grandparent, birthdays and a workload that refuses to lighten. My body and soul are weak and tired for every reason and how I long to do nothing and think about nothing. Slowly, my mind and body gave way to the nothingness it craved. I feel the weight of the past month leave my shoulders as a little voice chimes in and says, “Just rest”. This first day on the ocean I listen to the small but mighty voice and do as it instructed. I attempt to start a book, but the little voice said to be still and so I was. I close my eyes and rest.
I love adventure and hate sitting still, but this trip wasn’t about going on adventures and exploring new things. It was about being still and rest. So many worldly things fight for our attention and energy that we often forget to rest. God created a day of rest and oh how we ignore it. Going to church on Sunday is met with lunches and errands to prep for another busy week. We equate rest with a Netflix marathon or scrolling through social media while sitting around in our sweatpants. I’m pretty sure that falls under being lazy and not rest.
Rest is a necessity we constantly long for, yet fail to make a priority. Rest can come from doing nothing but listening to the waves crash into the shore, or can be found in the kitchen cooking a meal you love. Rest can be found walking in the woods or around the block. Rest can be found in a good book or on the pages of a journal. Rest looks different to each and every one of us. Rest isn’t being lazy, but it is defined by doing whatever it is that quiets our minds.
Rest has no end time or expiration. Rest can be an hour after work, or it can be a year-long process where you focus on being still. Rest can meet with a cup of coffee on a porch or a glass of wine with an old friend.
My recent trip to the ocean wasn’t about renting a paddle board or kayak to explore the bay, it wasn’t about finding the best hole in the wall seafood restaurant or playing putt-putt. It was about resting a tired soul. I read two Erin Hilderbrand books and visited with an old friend. My biggest adventure was a 2-hour boat ride to see Dolphins splash in our wake.
As summer gives way to fall and the leaves start to change, take a moment to make space for rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Since we can’t all escape to the beach and mountains, maybe you need to find rest at home. The wonderful and wise Rebekah Lyons is about to start a 3 week study on rest so hop on over and check out her study. http://rebekahlyons.com/free-study/