Tuesday, October 7, 2014
31 Days of Courage: The Courage to Rest Awhile
If you own a cat, you know that they do not need to read this particular post. I’m not sure what recipe God used in their DNA, but it included the sleep gene in multiples. Cats don’t need courage to lay back and slow down. But people do.
Somewhere along the line we’ve whipped our race (the human one, that is) into a frenzy of moving at breakneck pace for days on end, early in the morning to late at night. Taking a lunch break is akin to breaking the commandments.
What is at the root of this whirl wind of noise and motion? Why is it so contrary to our nature to sit or stroll or God forbid, take a nap?
I can’t speak for the whole world. But I live in one person’s antsy skin, and here’s how she sees it.
I don’t slow down when I’m most afraid.
What will happen if I don’t squeeze as much into a day as I possibly can? I fear being a bad mother if my children have to eat spaghetti with Hunt’s sauce for a day instead of a healthy salad, chicken, rice and a corresponding vegetable. So I over extend myself and snap at my family instead. Fear leads me from bad to worse.
Is it so important that I answer every email in a timely manner? Yes, because I’m afraid a coworker will think I’m less than reliable, or a friend will think I’m less than loyal, or the school will wonder if I really care about my kid. Can you hear the unmitigated pride and fear in all of these matters? So I rush to complete one thing with my mind on the next, spinning around being the center of my own universe, so very discontented. So very tired.
It takes courage to stop the runaway train. To stand in the middle of your own tracks and put up your hands and say “enough”.
"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31
Here is the One who had 3 years to accomplish the redemption of the entire world. Here is One who walked many a mile, but also sat and ate and drank and enjoyed little kids and told stories. Jesus was a busy man.
But again, and this theme seems to keep repeating itself during these 31 days, He didn’t fear man. He only feared God. And the Father says we are to rest. He even pounded the idea into the heads of his very own people for thousands of years. Sabbath rest is a command, not a suggestion.
The courage to change our ways and slow down is one of those small acts of bravery that may not be seen on the outside, but can do us a world of inward good.
Tomorrow, I’m taking a lunch break. Because the cemetery is full of men who were indispensable. I’ll go ahead and feel the fear of not getting it all done, and I’ll survive. Who’d of thought you could find a little courage in a comfy chair somewhere with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
Meanwhile, the cats are snoring away as I’m tapping away.
Time for me to go and get a little shut eye.
Your friend on the pilgrim road,