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I pull remnants of dry, wilted vegetable plants from the garden. Next to me, a grocery bag fills with the last of the season’s tomatoes. On the other side, a black plastic bag bulges with plants poking through its sides. I move through each aisle clearing all that remains from a season of growth. The earth releases the roots and prepares to rejuvenate its nutrients for the next growing season. Kedron tills the area, churning fresh dark soil to the top. I can almost hear the ground sigh as it lies fallow.
We work for a day. Then we rest to recharge our body for the next day. It’s a necessary, God-ordained cycle.
Trees lie dormant, ready to grow again in the spring.
Children require extra sleep for their little (or teenage) bodies to keep growing.
Yet today’s culture screams, “Go, go, go!” We fear that if we stop life will pass us by. We’ll miss opportunities. People will forget about us. Our voice will no longer matter. So we keep updating and tweeting and writing and talking and working, nearly 24/7.
Everything we do must have a purpose. A goal. An end result. Work. Work. Work. Where do we want to be in five years? What do we want to accomplish?
It’s good to have goals. It’s good to know our purpose.
But if we want to get there, we have to learn to rest.
So do something shocking.
Get extra sleep. Read something just because. Play a game. Go for a walk to enjoy nature. Follow a trail just to see where it goes. Get lost. In the woods. In your thoughts. In a book. And maybe you’ll find yourself. Maybe you’ll find what God has for you. But remember it’s not about the finding. It’s about losing yourself. In the moment. In the joy. In just being.
It’s not easy. It might take practice. But it’s worth it.
For more on the topic of rest, here’s a great sermon series called “The art of rest.” This series revolutionized my life a few years back.
When was the last time you rested from something? When was the last time you got lost? Did you find it difficult to allow yourself that period of downtime?