For the past few weeks I have been thinking and asking people about life giving things. We live in a world that most of the time is very draining. What is it that brings life back to you? What brings you joy? What truly refreshes you?
The answers people have shared included being outside in nature, running, dancing, gymnastics, horseback riding, singing, playing music, sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, crafts, washing cars, reading books, being with people, looking for little blessings.
Look at those answers. Nowhere do I see cleaning house all day (though I love the results), making lots of money, staying busy. But that seems to be where most of us reside.
I know, there are things that need to be done. I am not disputing that at all. Jobs matter, money matters, general cleanliness matters. Taking care of people matters. All of that makes us busy.
But are we so in the habit of being busy that we force ourselves to be busy even when we don’t need to be?
God commands us to rest. He calls it Sabbath, and it is for our benefit. With rest, we refresh our bodies and our spirits. Without rest, we wear down and become far less effective.
I am driven to busyness. It is an area I need to work on. From the minute I wake till the minute I go to sleep, I am either physically or mentally working. When I get a break from physical jobs, I sit down to fill my mind with new information. Some of it is important, and some of it is just obsessive because I just. can. not. stop. myself. I do this for weeks at a time until my body says no more. And once that happens, I drag myself around trying to do what I can while being totally aware of the fact that I can’t even put together an intelligent sentence. I can’t listen to that small voice in my heart. I can’t really love on the people around me.
I feel bad for not working. I feel like I am wasting time. I’m kind of okay with this for part of a day, but once this exhaustion hits me, it takes me *days* to come back. And that feels like such a huge waste of time to me.
I need to take more regular Sabbath days. Maybe you do too. My rest days work better on Mondays or Fridays than on the weekend. Our weekends are so busy. Much of our learning happens on the weekend while Dad is home. I don’t think the day matters as long as we do indeed rest.
What qualifies as rest? Sometimes it just means sleep. Sleep refreshes physically. Once the need for sleep has been met, it is time for life giving activities. Choose activities that bring YOU life. I tend to jump into a book, but I have realized that reading doesn’t really refresh my soul. Yes, it is good for me. Yes, I like stories and new information. No, reading does not refresh my soul. For me, that renewing comes from sports. I just love physical movement. Doing gymnastics, throwing a football, even digging a garden. That is where I need to go for refreshing. These are the desires that God put in my soul to renew me.
What life giving activities are you incorporating into your days? What are you doing to recreate? Are you doing it enough? Are you making it a priority?
Life is busy. Work is important. Rest is important. Life giving activities are important.