I've been hearing a lot about self-care lately. It seems like everyone is saying the same thing: We need to slow down. And every time I hear it, I think, "Yeah, I'll stick that in my pocket and think about that when I'm a mom or, you know, actually busy. But my days are so slow, rest is the last thing I need. Don't even talk to me about me time, I'm sick of me!"
And then I took a technology fast last week. No Internet (well, besides posting here), no TV, no social media. (Nothing overly spiritual on my part; it was a church thing.)
From day one of the fast, God started to talk me about rest, of all things. Apparently God is on the rest bandwagon, too, because every Bible verse and story I read was about rest. Every sermon, conversation, thought I scribbled in my journal, all centered on the same idea. To the point where it almost got weird.
I was so confused about it at first; This is not supposed to apply to me right now, I kept thinking. Because clearly I need to be a little more Martha and a little less Mary. Rest is for pastors and moms and CEOs, not quiet little me.
Most days, I have all kinds of time to myself. Time to exercise, to read, to make my favorite special tea twenty times a day if I want. And even if I have the most perfect "restful" day, my mind will still be louder than an airport Starbucks at seven in the morning - shouting out fears and doubts and worries, one right after the other like a long string of double shot latte orders.
But then I began to learn about the difference between true rest, rest found in God, and simply taking "me time". Because vegging out on the couch and finding my hiding place in Him are not the same thing.
True rest, the kind Jesus gives, doesn't always necessarily mean being physically still. True rest is more than a physical time-out, it's our posture towards God. It's trusting in Him.
This week, for me, finding rest looked like belly laughing with a group of girls in the hallway after church. Sitting on my porch in silence, coffee cup in hand and no agenda or phone to scroll through. A sunny ride home from the grocery store, windows down, radio off. Flipping through the Bible longer than usual when I felt like it wasn't quite time to get up yet. Letting myself be fully present, enjoying the exact moment at hand without distraction, and responding in gratitude.
I think this quote from Annie Dillard sums it up perfectly:
Experiencing the present purely is being emptied and hollow; you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.
Right now I'm having all the thoughts on rest, but I'll spare you and simply leave you with a challenge to get some rest this week. Real rest. It's a "challenge" because true rest is not passive, it's intentional. And I think God wants to meet you there.